Emaciated Leeds teenager found in filthy conditions 'died as a result of prolonged neglect', jury told

Leeds Crown Court
Leeds Crown Court

A TEENAGER found emaciated in filthy conditions died as a result of a 'prolonged period of neglect', jurors were told today.

A pathologist told court that she was unable to find any physical explanation for the condition of Jordan Burling's body.

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Dr Kirsten Hope gave evidence today at a manslaughter trial where the court heard the 18-year-old's body was in such a poor condition that some of his bones were exposed.

Jordan was found lying on a filthy mattress and covered in pressure sores in the living room of his family home in Butterbowl Garth, Farnley, Leeds.

Jordan’s condition was described by an expert as like the victim of a Second World War death camp.

His mother Dawn Cranston, grandmother Denise Cranston, and sister Abigail Burling, 25, are on trial accused of manslaughter and an alternative charge of causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult. They deny all the charges.

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Dr Hope, a Home Office pathologist, said the cause of death was bronchopneumonia - an acute chest infection.

She said the underlying cause of the chest infection was malnutrition.

Dr Hope said the pressure sores indicated that he had been immobile for a long period of time.

She told the court: "The overall state of Jordan's body indicates neglect.

"I have not been able to state if this is whether he has refused medical attention, or because he was in such a state that he could not move himself and help himself and other people didn't seek medical intervention."

Jurors were warned of the "distressing" nature of photographs of Jordan's body ahead of being shown them as the pathologist gave evidence.

Earlier in the day, Dr Hope described how Jordan was 5 foot 5 inches tall and weighed five stones 11 pounds when she examined his body on July 1 2016, a day after it was recovered from his home.

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Dr Hope said there were "obvious signs of malnutrition" and muscle wastage.

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

The doctor described how she removed the pad to discover a number of ulcers.

Two of the ulcers were so thick they exposed his pelvic and hip bones.

Dr Hope said there was also evidence Jordan had been suffering from dehydration.

She described how the skin on his scalp was 'scaly' and his teeth were in poor condition.

The nails on his fingers and toes were long.

Radiologist James Hampton also gave evidence.

Mr Hampton said a CT scan of Jordan's body was difficult to analyse because there was a lack of body fat.

He said there were signs that Jordan had a lung disease, possibly tuberculosis.

Dawn Cranston was given permission to leave the dock and sit outside the court room as the two witnesses gave evidence.

The trial continues.