Horrifying picture of skeletal boy, 18, left to “rot to death” in soiled nappy in his cluttered living room

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This horrifying picture shows a skeletal and “helpless” teenager who was left to “rot to death” on an inflatable mattress by his own mum and gran.

Jordan Burling, 18, was found by paramedics lying lifelessly on the makeshift bed, wearing a soiled nappy, at his home in June 2016.

He died the same day.

In the shocking image, released by police today, Jordan can be seen in an emaciated state just weeks before his death, with his ribs clearly visible.

Dressed in what appears to be a nappy and wearing a pair of black-framed glasses, he lifts up his blue T-shirt to reveal his skeletal chest.

The picture was taken on May 20, 2016, according to cops. It was not long after, on June 30, that he was discovered at the West Yorkshire house.

The emaciated teenager can be seen with his ribs sticking out from under his skin
The emaciated teenager can be seen with his ribs sticking out from under his skin

He was found by paramedics inside this cluttered living room in June 2016

Jordan was covered in bed sores, weighed less than six stone and was so emaciated his bones were exposed, a court previously heard.

Prosecutors said the neglected teenager’s condition was described by an expert as being like the victim of a World War Two death camp.

Today, his mother Dawn Cranston, 45, and grandmother Denise Cranston, 70, were locked up for a total of seven years for his manslaughter.

Following the sentencing, police released the harrowing image of Jordan – as well as a picture of the cluttered living room where he was found.

The room in Leeds is filled with sheets, bits of paper, clothes, toys and other miscellaneous items, with barely any floor space visible.

Earlier this week, Dawn Cranston and Denise Cranston showed no emotion as they were unanimously convicted of Jordan’s manslaughter.

Jordan’s mum, Dawn Cranston, pictured in her mugshot, was locked up today for his manslaughter

His gran Denise Cranston was also jailed for the same offence
His gran Denise Cranston was also jailed for the same offence

The house in Leeds where the teenager was discovered two years ago, weighing less than six stone and covered in pressure sores
The house in Leeds where the teenager was discovered two years ago, weighing less than six stone and covered in pressure sores

This afternoon, the mother was jailed for four years for manslaughter, while the grandmother was imprisoned for three, Leeds Live reports.

Before sentencing Dawn Cranston, the judge, Mr Justice Spencer, told her that her “culpability is greater than your mother’s”.

Jordan’s sister, Abigail Burling, 25, was found not guilty of manslaughter by jurors, but guilty of an alternative charge of causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable person.

She was also jailed this afternoon, for 18 months.

The judge said her culpability was less than that of the Cranstons – but said the offence was ‘so serious’ he had to impose a custodial sentence.

The trio will serve half of their terms in prison and the rest on licence.

Mr Justice Spencer had earlier told the court that it was “a profound disgrace and almost beyond belief” that Jordan “should have been allowed to die in his own home… in the bussum of his family.”

Prosecutors said Jordan "had been allowed to decay, to rot to death, by those closest to him, over a period of, at least, several weeks"
Prosecutors said Jordan “had been allowed to decay, to rot to death, by those closest to him, over a period of, at least, several weeks”

His sister Abigail Burling, 25, was found not guilty of manslaughter by jurors, but guilty of an alternative charge of causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable person
His sister Abigail Burling, 25, was found not guilty of manslaughter by jurors, but guilty of an alternative charge of causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable person

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He added that, with proper medical care in hospital, the boy’s life could have been saved. But instead, he was “condemned to a lingering death”.

During the five-week trial, the court had heard Jordan was discovered lying on the mattress in his living room in Butterbowl Garth, Farnley.

Nicholas Lumley QC, prosecuting, described the extent of the neglect that the teenager’s mum and gran had showed towards him.

He told jurors: “Jordan had been allowed to decay, to rot to death, by those closest to him, over a period of, at least, several weeks.”

The court heard that an expert dietician had not seen that degree of malnutrition in 26 years of working in that area.

Paramedics were met by a “disturbing” scene at the house, with Jordan lying “utterly helpless” on the mattress, the prosecution said.

Medics spent around 50 minutes trying to revive the boy after he was found at the ‘house of horrors’ on June 30, 2016.

But he died as a result of acute bronchopneumonia, the jury heard.

Dawn Cranston "did not seem bothered" as medics attempted to revive Jordan with CPR, a series of witnesses claimed
Dawn Cranston “did not seem bothered” as medics attempted to revive Jordan with CPR, a series of witnesses claimed

Denise Cranston supposedly remained seated in a nearby armchair during the CPR efforts
Denise Cranston supposedly remained seated in a nearby armchair during the CPR efforts

Paramedic Bridget Shepherd said the dying boy looked “very, very pale and very emaciated” when she first attempted to treat him that day.

She added that his bone structure was clearly visible and that his mother had claimed that he “had not been eating for a few weeks”.

A series of witnesses claimed that Dawn Cranston “did not seem bothered” as medics attempted to revive Jordan with CPR, while Denise Cranston supposedly remained seated in a nearby armchair.

The teenager’s mother was even heard telling a 999 operator shortly before his death that his unresponsive state was a “blessing” as it meant she would not have to go work that day.

Police Constable Ben McNamara, who arrived at the home just hours after Jordan passed away, claimed that the first thing Dawn Cranston asked him was how much the funeral would cost.

Referencing the comment, he said: “I was surprised by everyone’s lack of emotion. It is a strange thing to say after he had just died.”

Abigail Burling was also jailed today, for 18 months
Abigail Burling was also jailed today, for 18 months

Another cop said the mother seemed overly concerned about whether she would be able to get refunds for “a Zimmer frame and American food” she had bought her son from Amazon.

Giving evidence during the trial, Dawn Cranston claimed that Jordan suddenly started to lose weight in April 2016.

But she said he refused to go to the doctors after previously being turned away for arriving “a minute late”.

Crying throughout her account of the months before his death, she claimed the teenager “suddenly got to the point where he would not move out of the chair or anything like that”.

She added: “He did not think he would die.

“I did not want him to die.”

The remains of a newborn baby boy were also discovered at the family’s property in the Farnley area, the court was told.

Dawn Cranston, centre, is pictured outside court during the trial with Denise Cranston (left) and Abigail Burling (right)
Dawn Cranston, centre, is pictured outside court during the trial with Denise Cranston (left) and Abigail Burling (right)

Prior to the trial, Dawn Cranston had admitted endeavouring to conceal a birth after hiding the remains of her dead baby in a rucksack.

The court heard how she endured a labour alone in her bedroom after suffering intense pains in around 2002 when she was unaware she was pregnant.

The mother said: “If I remember rightly, I don’t think its eyes were open. I heard no noise, nothing.

“There were no signs at all of life. I just panicked, as nobody else knew that I was pregnant.”

Dawn Cranston told jurors she hid the remains of the baby in a nearby rucksack, which she then kept in the top of a wardrobe.

The remains stayed in the bag for around 14 years, the court heard.

She claimed she had intended to bury them, but “did not get round to it” and was unable to as there were always other people in the house.

Prosecutors said it was not known whether the baby was stillborn.

Jordan only had minimal contact with state agencies, including the education system
Jordan only had minimal contact with state agencies, including the education system

As well as being jailed for four years for manslaughter, Dawn Cranston was also sentenced to12 months for concealing the birth of a child.

Her sentences will run concurrently.

At the start of today’s sentencing hearing, Jordan’s aunt, Susan Burling, read a victim personal statement on behalf of his dad, Steven.

Susan said the family was trying to cope with a “living nightmare”.

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

He added: “I have lost all my children and I don’t know how I’m supposed to deal with all this trauma. I don’t know how I’m going to grieve for them or rebuild my life.’

He went on to say that Jordan’s death and the discovery of his dead baby son had “deeply troubled” his family.

In mitigation, the court heard that Dawn Cranston is “the product of a dysfunctional family background” and had to cope with her father’s suicide and care for her severely autistic brother.

Her defence team also said there was clear evidence of her “intention to care” for Jordan and that there was “a degree of effort and time”.

A paramedic had told jurors how Dawn Cranston "did not seem to be bothered" by her son's death
A paramedic had told jurors how Dawn Cranston “did not seem to be bothered” by her son’s death

Meanwhile, the court heard that Denise Cranston’s life “has not been straightforward” and there are signs her physical health may be deteriorating

She was married to a “controlling” man for 37 years who suffered from mental health problems before committing suicide, it was said.

Denise Cranston and her family were also repeatedly targeted by anti-social behaviour which caused them to ‘withdraw’, the court was told.

The barrister representing Abigail Burling then outlined mitigating factors for her, and asked the judge to consider a suspended sentence.

He argued that his client ‘was not grossly negligent but her failure to summon (medical) assistance was not reasonable’.

He went on to say that she has already been “profoundly” affected by Jordan’s death and the court proceedings.

During the trial, jurors had heard that Jordan was found with bones similar to those expected to be found on a middle-aged-woman.

Denise Cranston showed no emotion as she was found guilty of manslaughter earlier this week
Denise Cranston showed no emotion as she was found guilty of manslaughter earlier this week

Prosecutors said he was “little more than skin and bones”. His “heart stopped” and he died despite paramedics’ efforts, the court was told.

Giving evidence, Home Office pathologist, Dr Kirsten Hope, said there were “obvious signs of malnutrition” and muscle wastage.

She said the 5ft 5ins teenager weighed five stone, 11 pounds, when she examined his body on July 1, 2016, a day after it was recovered from his home.

Jordan was wearing a blue t-shirt, pyjama bottoms and a soiled incontinence pad at the time of his death, the court heard.

During her evidence, the doctor described how she removed the pad to discover a number of ulcers, two of which were so thick they exposed the teenager’s pelvic and hip bones.

She added that there was also evidence the boy had been suffering from dehydration.

She said the skin on his scalp was ‘scaly’ and his teeth were in poor condition, while the nails on his fingers and toes were long.

The sentencing took place at Leeds Crown Court today (file picture)
The sentencing took place at Leeds Crown Court today (file picture)

Radiologist James Hampton also gave evidence during the trial.

He said a CT scan of Jordan’s body was difficult to analyse because there was a lack of body fat. He also said there were signs that the teenager had a lung disease, possibly tuberculosis.

Following the verdicts earlier this week, Gerry Wareham, of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Yorkshire and Humberside, said Jordan’s death was “one of the most shocking cases” they have ever dealt with.

He added: “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.

“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.”


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