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Murdered Logan Mwangi was 'failed during Covid lockdown', damning report finds

Murdered Logan Mwangi was failed during the Covid lockdown - when multiple opportunities were missed by social services to save the schoolboy, a safeguarding review has found. The five-year-old was brutally killed by family just weeks after he was "stepped down" from the child protection register.

Mum Angharad Williamson, 31, stepdad John Cole, 40, step-brother Craig Mulligan, 14, were sentenced to life in prison for the horrific crime. The youngster was murdered just five days after Mulligan moved into the family home following a rushed family court decision, despite his violent past and threats made against Logan.

His body was then dumped in a river just 400 yards from his home in Sarn, Bridgend in July 2021, having suffered 56 external injuries including a torn liver and trauma to the brain. In a 999 call made at roughly 6am on July 31, 2021, Williamson falsely claimed her son was ‘missing’ in a failed bid to cover up the murder, the Mirror reports.

However, ar 2.43am, Cole was caught on a neighbour's CCTV carrying Logan's body to the River Ogmore while Mulligan followed him. Hours later, Logan's body was uncovered by police.

Now, a report which investigated police, school workers, NHS staff and social services has found there were multiple failures across services in the months leading up to youngster's death. Shockingly, Logan was taken off the child protection register just 13 days after his mum pressed a hot spoon against his neck, burning his skin.

The boy was murdered by his mum and stepdad (PA)

The report also found that social workers were so distracted dealing with Williamson and Cole and the three-way "banshee" relationship they had with Mulligan's mum that they missed clear signs of Logan's abuse. They also failed to assess whether Logan's mixed-race heritage would have made him a target for racist abuse from former National Front member John Cole.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the schoolboy's mum and step-dad were able to hide his abuse - with social workers also reportedly too scared to demand meetings with the couple. The report stated: "Covid 19 was a further barrier to identifying potential disguised compliance, i.e. the family appearing to co-operate with professionals in order to allay any concerns and stop professional engagement.

Logan Mwangi's mother Angharad Williamson and stepfather John Cole (Athena Pictures)

"This is particularly apparent within the family’s engagement in child protection interventions, the children within the home’s lack of school attendance and delays in seeking medical assistance."

It also said social workers had a "lack of confidence in challenging the family’s potential use of Covid 19 anxieties and Covid 19 symptoms as a barrier to engagement with services." Logan was referred to as Child T and Mulligan as Child Y throughout the extensive review, which was commissioned by the Cwm Taf Morgannwg Safeguarding Board.

It found that in the months before Logan was killed, Cole, Williamson and Mulligan's mother were living together "in a polyamorous relationship which they had named ‘Banshee’."

The report also stated that social workers were too busy with the adults in the household and there was an "absence" of time and care spent on Logan. It said: "The complexities of the adult relationships involved in the care of Child T overshadowed professionals’ line of sight to him. There was no knowledge of the reality of his lived experience."

The family reported Logan suffered burns in the bath on May 7 - however, it was found revealed that his injuries had actually been caused by Williamson pressing a hot spoon against his neck. Despite this, the youngster was removed from the child protection register just 13 days later, without a proper safeguarding plan agreed upon to protect him from further abuse.

Angharad Williamson, 31, was jailed for life. (South Wales Police)

The report said: "There were gaps in risk assessments and specialist skills around interrogating and analysing evidence. There were examples of risk management plans being stepped down without clear explanations as to how the risk had changed or could be managed in the longer term."

"Professionals did not fully explore the context of Child T’s race and ethnicity on his lived experience. With the value of hindsight, we know that both Adult A (Cole) and Child Y held and expressed racist and discriminatory views that one would expect to have made life very hard for Child T within the family."

John Cole was also handed a life sentence. (South Wales Police)

The review also found there was a distinct lack of communication between organisations, including his school failing to notify social services when his mum expressed concerns that three-stone Logan was putting on weight. In the months before his murder Logan suffered a broken arm, a broken collarbone and the burn wound to the neck - but health workers failed to press for investigation into the injuries.

It said: "Injuries observed on Child T were not shared with services that could have taken appropriate action to safeguard him. Several of the injuries, even in isolation, should have triggered a referral.

"If the injuries were considered by Health Professionals to be non-accidental there should have been clear considerations to the number of injuries and site on the body, parental supervision being afforded to Child T and if wider agencies’ support was required. This again should have triggered a child protection referral."

Evil Craig Mulligan (Police handout)

The report recommended 15 measures at both local and national level to prevent tragedies such as Logan from ever happening again. It suggested that the local health board should commission an independent review into how "non-accidental" injuries in children and young adults are investigated and ensure that staff understand safeguarding training.

It also said the Welsh Government should order a review into how child protection conferences are conducted and review information sharing systems between organisations. Finally, the report concluded the Family Court should ensure any social work assessments into child placements should continue for a minimum of 12 weeks - after Mulligan's was completed in just four.

Cole, Williamson and Mulligan were sentenced to a minimum of 72 years in Jail - with Cole ordered to serve a minimum of 29 years and Williamson 28 years and Mulligan hand a detention order for 15 years. The shocking details of the case were revealed over the course of the trial, with Logan held prisoner in the days before his death after testing positive for Covid-19.

During this time, he was confined to his tiny bedroom behind a locked child gate. Whenever he attempted to leave the room to interact with his family, Williamson and Cole would repeatedly punish him - with little Logan also self-harming by biting himself until he bled.

Prosecutor Caroline Rees QC said: "He had been kept like a prisoner in his small bedroom - a room described by Angharad Williamson as 'like a dungeon' with the curtains closed and a barred child's gate stopping him from moving about the rest of the flat. That little boy was being made to face a wall as food was being delivered so other members of the house did not catch Covid.

Evil mum Williamson fakes tears as police arrive to her home. (PA)

What must have he thought of the way his life was in these 10 days? He was dehumanised by each of the defendants."

Judge Mrs Justice Jefford said the pain Logan would have suffered was "unimaginable" and that Williamson and Cole inflicted "mental cruelty" on their victim. She said that after Logan tested positive for Covid 10 days before his death "the way he was treated was extreme".

She added: "He was kept in isolation in his room for 10 days with a baby gate across the door. He had no physical contact with his mother and was made to look away and face a wall when food was passed for him.

Police found Logan's battered body in this stretch of the River Ogmore (PA)

"Aged just five-years-old he was expected to entertain himself all day with toys and entertainment on screen. This was treatment that dehumanised him in the eyes of his parents - they saw him as a badly behaved child, naughty and demanding."

At sentencing Mrs Justice Jefford said because Logan "was killed in his own home it’s not possible to be sure exactly what happened to him." She continued: "What is very clear is shortly before his death this little boy who is just 3ft 5ins and weighed three stone was subjected to a brutal attack and there were 56 external injuries.

"To see these injuries on a small, defenceless five-year-old is nothing short of horrifying."

Williamson claimed she was asleep when Logan died and his body was removed from the house. However, the judge told her: "Your account was completely unbelievable. Your phone activity through the night and CCTV made it quite clear you were up and about and participating.

"You gave them the top to dispose of and you put the washing machine on. Your actions were careful and calculated and not the product of panic.

"Logan was particularly vulnerable because of his age, he was just five years old, small, and he was completely defenceless."

The couple went on trial at Cardiff Crown Court. (PA)

Former social worker, Welsh Lib Dem leader Jane Dodds MS, welcomed the review, but said the Welsh Government needed to undertake a full review of social services in Wales. She said: "This was a child who should not have lived in fear of his life, which was sadly taken. Police, social workers, Cafcass and health failed him.

"There is no blame here but we need more staff who are supported and who work together better. A review needs to happen of child protection services across Wales – I note the recommendation for a review of national child protection conferences but it needs to go wider."

Ms Dodds said the report should have called him Logan, adding “they are dehumanising him by calling him Child T”.

Logan's bedroom, where he was kept like a prisoner by his family. (Mirror)

Welsh Conservative Shadow Social Services Minister Gareth Davies MS said: "What happened to Logan was a tragedy that should never have happened and might have been prevented if the failures identified in this report were avoided. The report also shows the Council being quick to blame Covid for some of its shortcomings, but it does suggest that the Labour Government’s guidance was not clear or responsive enough to allow social workers to properly safeguard vulnerable children during the pandemic."

The Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan said: “This is a tragic case and our thoughts are with everyone affected by Logan’s death, particularly his father. I have been deeply shocked by events leading up to Logan’s death. The pain and suffering he must have experienced is truly horrifying.

“I welcome the publication today of the Child Practice Review and thank all those who have been involved in conducting the review.

"We must learn the lessons from this review and we accept the recommendations relating to the Welsh Government. I expect all agencies involved to take time to digest this and we will work with them to take forward the other national recommendations to ensure changes are made.

“I want to repeat how sorry I am to Logan’s father and reiterate my commitment to improve services to ensure vulnerable children are protected. I will make a further statement in the Senedd on Tuesday.”

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