Logan Mwangi: Five missed chances to save little boy murdered by his mother and stepfather

Logan Mwangi was found dead in the River Ogmore on the morning of 31 July 2021, just a few hundred metres from the flat he shared with his family in south Wales.

The five-year-old, dressed in mismatched pyjamas, had suffered 56 injuries, some of which were catastrophic and likened to those found on victims of high-speed crashes or a fall from a height.

His mother Angharad Williamson, 31, her boyfriend John Cole, 40, and a 14-year-old boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were convicted in April 2022 of murdering him some time between 28 July and 1 August.

Williamson was jailed for life with a minimum term of 28 years at Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday, while Cole was sentenced to life with a minimum of 29 years behind bars.

The 14-year-old has been detained for life and told he will serve a minimum of 15 years.

During the trial, the court heard evidence about the days, weeks and months leading up to Logan’s death, including how a social worker visited the family’s home the day he died but left without seeing him.

Here’s a look back at what may have been missed opportunities to save the youngster.

Young pupil ‘lost weight and had circles round his eyes’ on return to school after lockdown

A worker at the primary school Logan attended as a reception class pupil said she noticed he had lost weight and had circles around his eyes when he returned following the Covid-19 lockdown.

Wendy John, a learning support officer at Tondu Primary School, provided a statement which was read to the court during the trial, describing Logan as a “happy, caring, loving, and happy, intelligent child”.

Logan Mwangi had suffered catastrophic injuries likened to those found on victims of high-speed crashes

But Ms John said she noticed a change in him when he return to school after the coronavirus pandemic, saying: “I noticed his stammer got worse and noticed he had lost weight and had dark circles around his eyes.”

Concerns were raised about Logan between the first and second lockdowns when his mother didn’t want to send him to school after he hurt his shoulder, the trial heard.

The school contacted Ms Williamson in a bid to persuade her to bring Logan back to the school but she allegedly complained that she was being “interrogated” about his attendance.

Youngster ‘could have survived if he’d been taken to hospital’

The trial heard evidence from paediatrician Dr Deborah Stalker, who analysed Logan’s injuries and wrote two reports in October and November 2021.

The doctor said he had suffered “severe brain injuries” and “deep bruising” and that she could not be certain whether he would have been conscious or may have been knocked out and regained consciousness.

Logan suffered serious abdominal injuries, including a torn liver, a perforated bowel and damage to the small intestine.

Dr Stalker told the court the injuries were indicative of blunt force trauma in an “abusive situation that would be thumps, kicks and stamps to the abdominal area”.

She said Logan could have survived if taken to hospital within the first 24 hours of his injuries and he would likely have had an 80 per cent chance of survival.

The River Ogmore in Sarn, Bridgend, south Wales, near where the body of five-year-old Logan Mwangi was found

Social worker visited family home on day Logan died

The prosecution claimed Logan had been submitted to a “brutal and sustained assault” by Cole and the teenage boy on 30 July, the day he died, but his mother did nothing to prevent or report the attack. They said she failed to disclose the assault to a social worker who visited the house the same day.

Cole told the court Logan, who had tested positive for Covid-19, was kept in his room with a baby gate over the doorway and made to face the wall when anyone came in.

Despite testing negative on the morning of 30 July, he was still made to stay in his room, Cole said.

When social worker Debbie Williams arrived at the property later that day for an unscheduled visit, she was denied entry by Ms Williamson on the grounds Logan had Covid, the court heard.

The social worker spoke to the family from outside the home for about 20 minutes but said she did not see or hear Logan.

The ground-floor maisonette where five-year-old Logan Mwangi lived

During the visit, Ms Williamson reported Logan as being “a bit up and down” but did not report any serious concerns, while Cole spoke about claiming child benefit and tax credits.

The court was told medical experts believed Logan survived for several hours after he was injured, which meant there would have been opportunity to save him had those injuries been reported.

Teenager said he wanted to kill five-year-old

The court was told the teenage suspect in the trial had a “desire for violence” and spoke of wanting to kill people, including Logan.

In statements read to the court, the former foster family of the young defendant described how he had made their lives “hell” during the several weeks he lived with them last summer.

The jury heard how on more than one occasion the teenager, who was 13 years old at the time, had said he wanted to kill Logan.

The foster family said they continuously raised concerns about the youth’s behaviour and threats with social worker Debbie Williams but she dismissed what they said as “nonsense”.

“She just brushed it off as if it was nothing,” the foster mother said in her statement.

Ms Williams gave evidence and denied she had been told by the youth’s previous foster family that he had on more than one occasion threatened to kill them, and told them of his desire to kill Logan.

Logan Mwangi’s body was found dumped in a river in Bridgend

Child referred to social services over safeguarding fears months before death

Logan was referred to social services over safeguarding fears months before his death.

It came after his mother failed to take him to hospital straight away after he suffered a broken arm from an apparent fall down a flight of stairs in August 2020.

The court heard Ms Williamson tried to put the injury back in place herself, allegedly thinking it was a dislocated shoulder, and gave Logan Calpol for the pain before putting him to bed.

However, she took him to hospital the following morning, where medical staff raised concerns with police because of the delay.

A police officer spoke to Ms Williamson, who told them she thought Logan had fallen.

But in January 2021, Ms Williamson rang police to tell them the teenage defendant had allegedly admitted pushing Logan downstairs and that she had just found out.

Logan had also been added to the child protection register due to concerns about Cole’s past, as he had previous criminal convictions.

However, Logan was removed from being a “child in protection” to a “child in need” just weeks before he was found dead.

Douglas Mateo

Douglas holds a position as a content writer at Neptune Pine. His academic qualifications in journalism and home science have offered her a wide base from which to line various topics. He has a proficiency in scripting articles related to the Health industry, including new findings, disease-related, or epidemic-related news. Apart from this, Douglas writes an independent blog and assists people in living healthy life.