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NSPCC Cymru calls for child safeguarding review after guilty verdicts in Logan Mwangi case

21 Apr 2022 5 minute read
Photo issued by South Wales Police, of five-year-old Logan Mwangi. PA Wire

NSPCC Cymru has called for a child safeguarding practice review after three guilty verdicts in the case of murdered five-year-old Logan Mwangi.

John Cole, 40, and Angharad Williamson, 31, of Sarn, Bridgend, were convicted of killing Logan Mwangi by a jury of five men and seven women at Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday after five hours of deliberation.

A 14-year-old boy, who cannot be named because of his age, was also found guilty of murder.

Tracey Holdsworth, assistant director of NSPCC Cymru, said: “The treatment of Logan Mwangi by people who should have been caring for him was horrific, but for his death to have involved another young person is even more shocking.

“However, we cannot lose sight of the fact that one of those found guilty is still a child and the response to him must be one of both punishment and appropriate support.

“A Child Safeguarding Practice Review must now leave no stone unturned in establishing exactly what took place before Logan died and whether more could have been done to protect him.

“There must also be more investment in children’s services in Wales to ensure they are able to provide comprehensive support to any child at risk of harm and be better equipped to prevent a tragedy such as this happening again in Wales.”

‘Innocent’

Detective Inspector Lianne Rees, of the South Wales Police Major Crime Investigations Team and senior investigating officer in the case said those who were supposed to be protecting Logan “betrayed him in the worst possible way”.

In a statement, she said: “Logan was a beautiful, bright and innocent five-year-old little boy with his whole life ahead of him.”

“It is difficult to imagine how Logan must have suffered at the hands of those who he trusted, and inconceivable that those who should have loved and protected him betrayed him in the worst possible way.

“Attempts to cover up the crime in the hours following Logan’s death and the subsequent web of lies and deceit that were to follow, are an indication of their callousness and lack of remorse.

“The impact of Logan’s tragic death on so many people cannot be measured.

“Nothing can bring Logan back, but I hope that today’s outcome will bring some comfort to those who loved him.”

‘Abuse’

Logan, a previously “smiling, cheerful little boy”, was discovered in the River Ogmore in Pandy Park, Bridgend, South Wales, on the morning of July 31 2021.

Police officers found him partially submerged wearing a pair of dinosaur pyjama bottoms and a Spider-Man top just 250 metres from his home.

The youngster had suffered 56 external cuts and bruises, and “catastrophic” internal injuries, which were likened to a high-speed road accident.

Experts said the injuries could have only been caused by a “brutal and sustained assault” inflicted on Logan in the hours, or days, prior his death. They also said the injuries were “consistent with child abuse”.

Timeline

Here is a timeline of the key events in the life of Logan Mwangi, from his birth up until the discovery of his body in the River Ogmore in Bridgend in July 2021.

– March 15 2016: Logan Mwangi is born in the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend, to Angharad Williamson and Benjamin Mwangi. Their relationship quickly breaks down and Mr Mwangi moves back to Brentwood, Essex.

– June 2016: Mr Mwangi visits Logan in Bridgend for their first father’s day together and they have regular contact. Williamson and Logan move in with Mr Mwangi in Essex but by August have returned to Wales.

By the end of the year, Williamson had married another man, but the relationship became violent. During this time, contact between Logan and his father ceases.

– 2019: Contact between Logan and his father resumes. In April, Williamson takes Logan to visit Mr Mwangi and his family in Essex. This was the last time Mr Mwangi saw Logan, as Williamson was in a relationship with Cole and was preventing access.

– August 16 2020: Logan is taken to hospital by his mother, Williamson, who said he sustained a dislocated shoulder when he fell down the stairs the day before. Doctors examining Logan find he has a broken arm. The hospital makes a referral to social services and Williamson gives a statement to the police.

– January 21 2021: Williamson calls 101 and during the conversation tells the operator the youth defendant had confessed to pushing Logan down the stairs when he fractured his arm.

– June 2021: Social workers in Bridgend remove Logan and his younger sibling from the child protection register – meaning they are no longer considered to be at significant risk of harm.

– July 2021: At some point during the weeks before his death, Logan suffered a broken collarbone. There are no records of the injury being treated.

– July 20 2021: Logan tests positive for Covid-19 and has to self-isolate.

– July 29 2021: Logan is allegedly seriously assaulted by both Cole and the youth, an incident which Williamson claimed included Logan being punched in the stomach by Cole.

– July 30: Williamson allegedly lifts Logan up forcefully by his pyjama top, causing it to rip, and shouts at him to “tell the truth”. The same day, social worker Deborah Williams visits the flat but is denied entry, as Logan has Covid-19. She stays for 20 minutes and leaves without seeing or hearing Logan.

– July 31 2021, 2.30am: CCTV shows Cole carrying Logan’s body out of the flat and towards the river, while being followed by the youth. They return to the property but leave again to dispose of Logan’s ripped pyjama top.

At about 5.45am Williamson makes a 999 call to police, claiming to have woken to find Logan missing from the house, and accusing another woman of having taken him.

Two police officers searching the nearby park area just after 6am discover Logan’s body in the River Ogmore.

Logan was allowed to leave self-isolation the day he was found dead.


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