‘NO SIGNS OF LIFE’: Mom, granny, sentenced for letting boy waste away

A British woman and her mother will have a lot of time to think behind bars for letting a teenage boy rot away his life on an inflatable mattress while wearing a soiled diaper in 2016.

Earlier this week, 45-year-old Dawn Cranston, and her mother, 70-year-old Denise Cranston, were convicted of manslaughter in a Leeds, England court in relation to the death of 18-year-old Jordan Burling. Dawn will spend four years behind bars while Denise was sentenced to three years.

According to the U.K. Mirror, paramedics found a lifeless and severely emaciated Burling in his home. At the time of his discovery, Burling was covered in sores, weighed less than 84 pounds and was so skinny that his bones showed through his skin.

The teen died of acute bronchopneumonia shortly after he was found.

At the same trial, Burling’s sister, Abigail, 25, was found not guilty of manslaughter, but jurors convicted her on a charge of causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable person. Abigail was sentenced to 18 months in prison.


Abigail Burling. (West Yorkshire Police)

During the Cranstons’ trial, prosecutors compared Burling’s body to that of a victim in a Second World War death camp.

During the five-week trial, jurors learned Dawn, Jordan and Abigail moved in with Dawn’s mother in 2002 after being evicted from their own home. The BBC reported the family never ate meals together, with Jordan normally eating microwaved food products such as spaghetti, pizza and ribs.


An emaciated Jordan Burling a month before his death. (West Yorkshire Police)

While a neighbour once described Jordan as a “little chubby lad” the boy’s parents struggled in the parental department, jurors were told. During the trial, an elementary school report card noted Jordan’s “basic needs” were neglected.

The report card stated Jordan had black teeth, basic language skills and lacked toilet training.

The BBC reported Jordan was homeschooled after being removed from regular school due to bullying.

It’s there where he became more reclusive. Dawn claimed during the trial she had taken her son to see doctors but they “couldn’t figure out what was wrong.”

In reality, Jordan hadn’t been in a doctor’s office in six years.

Denise told court she would’ve taken her grandson to seek medical help but feared he would lash out at her.

“He was an adult, it was his choice,” Denise said.

Jordan’s condition worsened. He grew bedsores which were cleaned with salt water and he wore adult diapers which were changed twice a day.

His weight also dropped significantly.

Dawn called emergency services on June 30, 2016 after her son’s breathing lightened.

Dawn said during her testimony that Jordan “suddenly got to the point where he would not move out of the chair or anything like that,” noting she didn’t “think he would die.”

Prosecutor Nicholas Lumley told the jury Jordan “had been allowed to decay, to rot to death, by those closest to him, over a period of, at least, several weeks.”

Judge Justice Spencer said he was “almost beyond belief” that the teen died, stating he was “condemned to a lingering death.”