Mum ordered Zimmer frame for emaciated Leeds teenager who died in soiled nappy: manslaughter trial jury told

The mother of an 18-year-old man who died after he was found in an emaciated state wearing a soiled nappyin his Leeds home had ordered aZimmer Frame for him, a manslaughter trial jury heard.
The mother of an 18-year-old man who died after he was found in an emaciated state wearing a soiled nappyin his Leeds home had ordered aZimmer Frame for him, a manslaughter trial jury heard.

The mother of an 18-year-old man who died after he was found in an emaciated state wearing a soiled nappy in his Leeds home had ordered a  Zimmer Frame for him, a manslaughter trial jury heard.

The Leeds Crown Court jury was told the Zimmer frame arrived the day after teenager Jordan Burling, who weighed less than six stone, died at the house in the Farnley area of Leeds in June 2016.

Read more: Teenager in soiled nappy left to "rot to death" at Leeds house where baby boy's remains found, manslaughter trial told

Parmedics found him lying on a filthy inflatable mattress, covered in pressure sores in the living room.

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

Jordan's grandmother Denise Cranston, 70, told police that Mr Burling had double incontinence, could not walk unaided and that his mother Dawn Cranston, 45, paid about £7 for the Zimmer frame online.

Denise Cranston also told police she and Dawn Cranston changed his nappy twice a day, washed him with a flannel in the living room and used sanitary pads to dress his bed sores.

Reading from a transcript of one of Denise Cranston's police interviews, prosecutor Chloe Fairley, said: "The Zimmer frame came the day after he died so he never got to use it."

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

Dawn and Densie Cranston are of Butterbowl Garth, Farnley and Abigal Burling is of Cow Close, Leeds.

Detective constable Kam Nagra and prosecutor Miss Fairley read transcripts of police interviews with Denise Cranston on August 3 2016 to the court.

Police asked Denise Cranston: "How often would he eat during the day before he became ill?"

She replied: "He used to get what he wanted. It was our system in the house. You get up and you get what you wanted."

Denise Cranston told police that around two or three months before Mr Burling died she and his mother had brought a mattress and a blow up bed into the living room for him to sleep on.

Police asked Denise Cranston: "When you said he couldn't walk, tell me about that?"

Denise Cranston replied: "He couldn't move his legs. He went to the toilet one day and said something had gone in his leg.

"He came back and said 'I'm not going to walk again.' I think it was a bone that had cracked."

Denise Cranston told police Mr Burling's bed sores looked "awful."

Police asked her: "You put the sanitary towels on to his bed sores and you stuck them on with tape?"

She replied: "Yes. It works and then it started going again, opening up and that so I don't know."

Police asked Denise Cranston: "Did he talk to you about them (the bed sores)?"

She replied: "No."

Police asked: "Did they smell at all?" She replied: "Occasionally they did smell."

Denise Cranston said Mr Burling's mother had taken him out of Farnley High School after he was bullied and he was home schooled, but did not take any exams.

Police asked Denise Cranston: "How did he get from not eating quite as much to being how he was when he died?"

She replied: "I have no idea. It's just one of them things that happened."

Denise Cranston told police that Mr Burling would drink up to five milkshakes in a 24-hour period and said he had been eating a McDonald's takeaway the day before he died.

Police asked her: "Do you think he had an problem with food, had an issue with it?"

Denise Cranston replied: "I don't think so really, but I don't know what was going through his mind at the time."

Police asked her: "Did you feel you had a duty of care towards him?"

She replied: "We looked after him, that was our duty."

Police asked: "Did you think I'm just going to get someone to look at those (bed sores)?"

Denise Cranston said that one one occasion when Mr Burling was younger, he was a minute late for a doctor's appointment and had been refused the appointment.

She said: "He couldn't have had anybody. When you have got a stubborn person like he was if they had walked through he door he would have refused, he would have utterly refused.

"Because the doctor refused him that time he said 'I'm not going to go to the doctor's again.'"

Police asked Denise Cranston: "What did you think about when he died? What were your thoughts then?"

She replied: "With hindsight I thought he was stupid, he was an idiot. He was stubborn, he wouldn't let anyone through that door if he knew you had phoned."

The court heard Dawn Cranston gave no comment answers during her police interviews but said on her arrest: "I'm depressed. I didn't do anything. He wouldn't let me do anything. I cared for him. He wouldn't let me help him."

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.

The jury was told Dawn Cranston has admitted endeavouring to conceal the birth of a child.