Dying teen’s mum ‘not bothered’ as son given CPR

A mother accused of manslaughter "did not seem bothered" when paramedics fought to save her teenage son's life, a court has heard.

Dawn Cranston, 45, said it was "a blessing" that she would not have to go to work due to the unresponsive state of 18-year-old Jordan Burling to a 999 operator, jurors at Leeds Crown Court were told.

She is on trial accused of manslaughter alongside his grandmother, Denise Cranston, 70, and his 25-year-old sister Abigail – who were all supposedly responsible for his care.

The trio deny an alternative count of causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable person.

Jordan Burling had weighed less than six stone when emergency services found him lying on an inflatable mattress wearing a nappy on 30 June 2016 – prosecuting lawyer Nicholas Lumley QC said.

The teenager died as a result of acute bronchopneumonia, which Mr Lumley claimed was due to his immobility and infected bed sores.

Paramedics had spent approximately 50 minutes performing CPR on Mr Burling at his home in Farnley, Leeds, but he could not be saved.

He was "very, very pale and very emaciated" when emergency services arrived at the property, according to evidence from Bridget Shepherd of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

She added that Mr Burling's bone structure was clearly visible and that his mother claimed he "had not been eating for weeks."

Image: Jordan Burling died from acute bronchopneumonia allegedly following mistreatment by his family. Police pic

Ms Shepherd said his mother and grandmother showed "no emotion" as her son went into cardiac arrest, stating: "She did not seem bothered by what was going on. She did not seem to be in shock."

She said that his grandmother had been watching television when paramedics arrived.

"She did not seem bothered that we were performing CPR on her grandson in the middle of the floor," Mrs Shepherd continued.

The teenager was "gasping for breath" as his mother remained in the kitchen and appeared "calm" throughout the incident, Ms Shepherd's colleague Graham Farrar later told the court.

The ambulance team decided to phone police shortly after leaving as "something did not feel right", Ms Shepherd said.

Dawn Cranston said her son had been sick for a while but had not visited hospital because he was "very stubborn", a recording of the 999 call played in court revealed.

"I will have to tell work I won't be in. It will be a blessing, that," she told the call handler.

Dawn Cranston cried from the dock as the recording played to jurors.

Prosecutor Mr Lumley told jurors that Dawn Cranston admitted a count of endeavouring to conceal the birth of a child following the discovery of bags containing "rancid smelling liquid."

Her baby son's bones were also found at the property.

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It was unclear whether the baby had been stillborn, Mr Lumley added, but that it reflected her "propensity for failing care to children".

The trial continues.

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