Dad going through ‘living nightmare’ over teenage son who starved to death at Leeds family home

Jordan Burling.
Jordan Burling.

THE father of an 18-year-old man who died after starving to death in a filthy state at his family home is going through a “living nightmare” coping with the death of his son.

A victim impact statement was read to Leeds Crown court today on behalf of Steven Burling describing his heartache at losing son Jordan.

Jordan’s mother, grandmother and sister are being sentenced at Leeds Crown Court over the teenager’s death at their home on Butterbowl Garth, Farnley, Leeds.

Jordan Burling: Troubled Leeds teen was ‘invisible to the authorities’

Jordan was “skin and bone” and weighed less than six stones when paramedics found him lying on a filthy inflatable mattress, covered in pressure sores.

He died as a result of malnutrition, immobility and infection-riddled sores after being “allowed to decay” before his death.

Jurors were told his body was likened to those of prisoners held in Second World War extermination camps.

Jordan’s mother, Dawn Cranston, 45, and grandmother Denise Cranston, 70, were found guilty of manslaughter after a six-week trial.

His sister, Abigail, 25, was cleared of manslaughter but found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult.

Police also discovered the remains of Dawn Cranston’s full-term newborn baby, which had been stuffed into a rucksack, when they searched the property following Jordan’s death in June 2016.

Dawn Cranston has admitted endeavouring to concealing the birth of a child.

During the trial Dawn admitted hiding her dead baby’s body in a wardrobe for 14 years but told the court she did not smother him to death.

She described how she put her stillborn baby in a rucksack and hid it in the wardrobe after giving birth in 2002.

Jordan’s aunt, Susan Burling, read a victim impact statement to the court on behalf of the teenager’s father.

Mr Burling said he was going through a “living nightmare” coping with the loss of his son and finding out about the death of the baby son he “knew nothing about”.

He said: “I cannot understand why all these horrific things have happened to me and my family.

“I’m trying to process my feelings and reactions to the loss of my children.

“I don’t know how I’m ever going to grieve for them.”

“Our family has forever changed by these events.

“My emotions and thoughts are difficult to cope with.

“My younger relatives can’t understand why I’m so difficult and quiet.

“My family and I are ordinary people who are having to deal with such a traumatic chain of events.”

All three defendants will be sentenced later today.