Leeds mum was 'expressionless' as malnourished teenager lay dying on living room floor

editorial image

The mother of a badly malnourished 18-year-old appeared "expressionless" as he lay dying on the floor of their family home in Leeds, a jury heard.

Paramedics told a court how Dawn Cranston appeared to show no emotion as they tried to save his life after his heart failed in the living room of the house in Farnley.

Yesterday the court heard how Jordan had been left to 'rot to death' in a house that also contained the remains of a dead baby.

A trial at Leeds Crown Court has heard teenager Jordan Burling was "skin and bone" and weighed less than six stones when paramedics found him lying on a filthy inflatable mattress.

Jordan was wearing a soiled nappy and was covered in pressure sores when when paramedics arrived at Butterbowl Garth in June 2016.

Jurors have also heard that the remains of a baby boy were found in a bag at the property.

Jordan's mother, Dawn Cranston, 45, grandmother Denise Cranston, 70; 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.

Robert Tiffany, a Yorkshire Ambulance Service paramedic gave evidence at the trial today.

He told the court the house was unkempt and cluttered when he arrived with his collegaues to find Jordan on the living room floor.

He said: "He looked skinny, very poorly. He was breathing but gasping."

Mr Tiffany said Jordan was unconscious and his heart stopped working around three minutes after they arrived.

The paramedic told prosecutor Nicholas Lumley, QC, that Jordan's mother remained in the kitchen as they tried to resuscitate the teenager.

He said Denise Cranston remained sitting in a chair in the corner.

Mr Tiffany said he was told that Jordan had not seen a doctor for two years and had not eaten in two weeks.

Simon Kealey, QC, representing Dawn Cranston, asked Mr Tiffany if Jordan's mother had seem expressionless.

The paramedic replied: "Definitely expressionless, yes."

Mr Kealy then said: "Unemotional?". Mr Tiffany replied: "Yes."

Graham Farrar, another paramedic who attended the incident, was asked by Mr Lumley: "What emotions did she (Dawn Cranston) display as you were asking questions."

Mr Farrar said: "Calm."

The prosecutor continued: "Did she appear distressed?"

Mr Farrar replied: "No."

Prosecutors say Jordan died as a result of malnutrition, immobility and infection-riddled sores after being "allowed to decay" for several weeks before his death.

The jury has been told his body was likened to those of prisoners held in WWII extermination camps.

The jury also heard how a police search of the house after Mr Burling's death uncovered the body of Dawn Cranston's full-term newborn baby, which had been stuffed into a rucksack.

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

The case continues.