Three women jailed after Leeds teen left to rot 'never intended' for him to die, lawyers tell court

Lawyers for Dawn Cranston, Denise Cranston and Abigail Burling said the women never intended for Jordan to die but had made "wholly inadequate" efforts to care for him when he became ill.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 13th July 2018, 10:24 am
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:13 pm

The trial heard Dawn suffered from a "dissociative disorder" which caused her to become mentally detached from the reality of events around her.

-> Leeds mum, gran and sister condemned Jordan Burling to a lingering deathA consultant psychiatrist said evidence of the disorder could be seen in the way she concealed the birth of her child in 2002.

Dawn's barrister, Simon Kealey, QC, said: "It was not a conscious decision to allow him to starve to death.

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The three women, Denise Cranston, Abigail Burling and Dawn Cranston, were all jailed

"When she gave evidence it was clearly an upsetting time."

Mr Kealey said Dawn had shown signs of depression and symptoms of post traumatic stress.

He added: "This close family unit is now to be separated.

"Her job will be lost and it will be impossible to return to the home address where they lived for many years.

Jordan Burling

Ian Cook, for Denise, said: "This is a truly sad case and nothing I can say in submissions today is intended to remove the fact that a young man has lost his life in distressing circumstances."

Mr Cook said Denise had struggled to cope since her husband, Herbert, took his own life in the property in 2006.

He said the family had been the victims of targeted anti-social behaviour at their home.

Mr Cook added: "It is perhaps little surprise that as a family that did withdraw into their own bubble.

"Denise Cranston did not want her grandson to die. She made wholly inadequate efforts to care for him.

"But they were genuine efforts to care for him."

Richard Wright, QC, for Burling, said: "It is easy for casual observers to cast this case in terms of good and evil.

"(the court) will perhaps see these tragic events in a different light."

Mr Wright said Burling did not have the same level of responsibility for caring for Jordan as her mother and grandmother but had failed in her responsibility to summon help when he was seriously ill.

He added: "However grotesque it may be appear, there is an entire family dynamic that she depended on throughout her entire life.

"She will lose the support of her mother and grandmother.

"She has lost her home, forced out by the cruelty of local residents as a result of the reporting of the case in the media."

"The effects on her are profound."