The mother and grandmother of a teenager who was found dead in the living room of his house in Leeds have been accused of neglecting the 18-year-old.
Jordan Burling’s emaciated body was discovered at the property in Farnley on June 30, 2016, after being left to ‘rot to death’ by his mother, sister and grandmother, a court heard.
The three family members are on trial accused of manslaughter and causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult.
Grandmother Denise Cranston, 70, told Leeds Crown Court heard that ‘no one’ was responsible for Jordan’s death and detailed how the teen would have his nappies changed on the sofa.
She said she and the boy’s mother, Dawn Cranston, 45, would carry him there and then undress him. When asked if they would take the nappies off so he would be completely naked, the gran told a court ‘yes’.
Denise Cranston also told the court that they would put sanitary towels ‘over his sores’.
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She added: ‘We were like a servant to him. I don’t know if Dawn thought of it like that.’
She said it would take between three quarters of an hour between an hour or two to change Jordan’s nappies.
The Cranstons both lived with the teenager and his sister lived in nearby in Farnley.
Jordan weighed little more than six stone when paramedics found him lying on a filthy inflatable mattress, wearing a soiled nappy and covered in pressure sores.
He died as a result of malnutrition, immobility and infection-riddled sores after being ‘allowed to decay’ for several weeks before his death, it is alleged.
His body was likened to those of prisoners held in WWII extermination camps, Leeds Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Nicholas Lumley QC said: ‘For reasons which may never be understood, Jordan had been allowed to decay, to rot to death, by those closest to him for at least several weeks.
‘There was no other reason for his death, no natural or other illness, apart from the conditions created for him by the accused.’
Dawn and Denise Cranston remained ‘emotionless’ and ‘calm’ as the paramedics administered CPR for 50 minutes on Jordan, the jury heard.
Paramedics Bridgett Sheppard said: ‘The mum didn’t seem bothered by what was going on or seem in a state of shock which seemed unusual.
‘The grandma was just watching us from an armchair at the far side of the room, the TV was on and she didn’t say anything.
‘Even as we performed CPR she didn’t seem bothered just sat very straight-faced with no emotion.’
Police constable Emma Robson. who waited with the family in the garden while undertakers arrived to take Jordan’s body, added: ‘His sister’s reaction was unusual, she wanted to go inside and watch TV and seemed frustrated when she couldn’t.’
The jury heard Jordan had led a relatively normal life before being taken out of school at age 16 where he was then home-schooled by Dawn Cranston.
There were no apparent illnesses which led to his deterioration in health and eventual death on June 30, 2016.
The jury also heard how a police search of the house uncovered the skeletal remains of Dawn Cranston’s full-term newborn baby, which had been stuffed into a rucksack in Jordan’s bedroom.
The child of Dawn Cranston and Steven Burling had grown to full term in the womb but it could not be established if he was born dead or alive, the court heard.
Dawn Cranston, Jordan’s sister Abigail Burling, 25, and Denise Cranston all deny manslaughter.
Dawn Cranston pleaded guilty to concealing birth of a child by secretly disposing of body.
The trial continues.
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