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

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Jordan Burling was “invisible to the authorities”, jurors heard during the trial of his mother, grandmother and sister.

READ: Mother and grandmother guilty of manslaughter over teen 'left to rot' at Leeds house

Jordan Burling

Jordan Burling

The young man had a very troubled life but only had minimal contact with state agencies, including the education system.

Jordan's mother, Dawn Cranston, 45, and grandmother, Denise Cranston, 70, were yesterday found guilty of manslaughter after a six-week trial at Leeds Crown Court.

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

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

Prosecutor Nicholas Lumley, QC, said: “We do not pretend that Jordan Burling had an especially healthy or happy life, even in his early years.”

The court heard that he attended his local primary school, where he soiled himself and defecated on the floor.

Teachers noted he had head lice and his teeth were in a very poor state.

Soon after he went to Farnley Park High School, his mother wrote to the council telling them that he was going to be educated at home. He was “home-schooled” from the age of 12, jurors were told.

READ: Death of emaciated Leeds man is 'one of most shocking cases' Yorkshire prosecutors ever handled

“He never attended school or college again, never took any examinations or achieved any qualifications,” Mr Lumley said. “Nor did he ever work, as far as can be ascertained.

“From the time Jordan was taken out of school, he became increasingly anonymous. Education and social services played little part in his life.”

The jury was told that Jordan had not been seen by the family doctor for years before he died.

And he had not seen a dentist since 2009, when 16 of his teeth were treated.

Mr Lumley said: “He only really had contact with his immediate family. He may have been invisible to the authorities but not so to these defendants.”