Family of neglected teenage boy guilty of manslaughter

|News, Domestic abuse

The mother and grandmother of a teenage boy who died after suffering neglect have been convicted of his manslaughter.

Jordan Burling’s mother Dawn Cranston, 45, and his grandmother Denise Cranston, 70, were found to both have played a part in the ill-treatment which led to his death.

The pair were found guilty of manslaughter at Leeds Crown Court today, 10 July 2018.

Jordan, 18, was found by paramedics lying on a mattress in the family living room on 30 June 2016. He shared the house with his mother and grandmother.

He was found wearing a soiled nappy and was grossly emaciated, weighing only 37kgs, or less than six stone. He died shortly after being found of acute bronchopneumonia, caused as a result of malnutrition, immobility and infected bed-sores.

Jordan’s sister, Abigail Burling, 25, lived nearby and often visited the home. She was today found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable person.

Additionally, Dawn Cranston pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to concealing a birth. When officers searched the property after Jordan’s death, the decomposing body of a new born baby boy was found wrapped in plastic bags and concealed in a rucksack. It was impossible to establish whether the child had died before or after birth.

Gerry Wareham from the CPS said:

“This is one of the most shocking cases CPS Yorkshire and Humberside has ever dealt with.

“These women had a duty of care towards Jordan. However, the CPS showed the court that instead they allowed him to rot to death in his own home.

“His bed sores were so deep they left bone exposed and when he died, he weighed less than six stone. An expert said it was the worst case of malnutrition they have seen in 26 years’ experience, and likened Jordan’s condition to that of a World War Two concentration camp victim.

“Words cannot begin to convey the extent of Jordan’s terrible suffering at the hands of the very people he should have been able to trust the most. Those responsible for that suffering have been found guilty of causing his death.”

UPDATE: On 12 July 2018 at Leeds Crown Court Dawn Cranston was sentenced to four years imprisonment, Denise Cranston to three years imprisonment, and Abigail Burling to 12 months imprisonment.

Notes to editors

  • Gerry Wareham is Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Yorkshire and Humberside.
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