Family who left 18-year-old man to ‘rot to death’ in nappy given jail sentence

The mother and grandmother of a teenager who was allowed to “rot to death” on an inflatable mattress have been jailed.

Jordan Burling, 18, was said to have resembled a Second World War concentration camp victim when paramedics found him lying “lifelessly” on a makeshift bed in his Leeds home.

His 45-year-old mother, Dawn Cranston, and his grandmother, Denise Cranston, 70, were jailed at Leeds Crown Court for four and three years respectively on Thursday, after they were found guilty of manslaughter earlier this week.

The judge, Mr Justice Spencer, told the three women it was “almost beyond belief” that Mr Burling “should have been allowed to die in his own house, here in Leeds, in 2016, in the bosom of his family”.

He said the pictures of the teenager, who weighed just 6 stone when he died, were “hauntingly reminiscent of starving victims of extermination camps in the Second World War”.

Earlier, Mr Burling’s aunt, Susan Burling, read a victim personal statement on behalf of his father, Steven.

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Ms Burling said the family were trying to cope with a “living nightmare”.

The statement said: “I just can’t understand why all these horrific things have happened to me and my family.”

The judge said: “It is important to emphasise that this was not a deprived household in material terms, nor were any of you inadequate to the point that you were unable to live a reasonably normal life outside the home.

“Although the house was full of clutter you all had mobile phones, laptop or tablet computers and great deal of other equipment.

“The house was well-stocked with food. There were three refrigerators or freezers.”

He said: “Through your gross negligence, a precious human life was lost needlessly.”

In a statement read outside court, the family of his father, Steven, said: “It has been truly horrific to learn in court the full extent of the pain and suffering that Jordan went through, and also to discover that Steven had another son who he and the family knew nothing about.

“As a family, we feel we have been denied any knowledge of that baby boy’s existence. We have also been denied the quality time we should have had with Jordan if those responsible for his death had got the medical care he needed.

“We feel betrayed by the people we trusted to care for Jordan.

“Steven and the family will always remember Jordan having a bubbly and chatty personality.

“We have had two years of hell coming to terms with Jordan’s death and we would like to thank the police and everyone involved who has helped to support us through this dreadful time.

“We now want to be left to grieve in peace and to lay Jordan and the baby to rest with the dignity and love they deserve.”

James Rogers, chair of the Safer Leeds executive, said a full independent review was under way into Mr Burling’s death.

Speaking outside court, he said he could not comment further until the review was complete and refused to answer questions about the role of agencies in Mr Burling’s life.

Additional reporting by Press Association.

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