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An urgent independent safeguarding review was underway into the horrifying murder of Logan Mwangi by his evil mother, stepfather and a teenage boy.
The latest probe into alleged failure by the authorities to prevent a battered child’s murder comes after a series of similar tragedies including the deaths of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, six, and 16-month-old Star Hobson. Both were killed by their parents’ partners.
During his short life, Logan was punched, kicked, hit with weapons and thrown downstairs.
Despite his injuries, he was forced to do push-ups as punishment and stand bare-foot outside staring at a wall for half-an-hour on end.
The child was effectively held prisoner in his bedroom which his mother called his “dungeon,” a court heard.
Logan’s wounds were so severe, doctors likened them to those suffered by “high velocity” crash victims.
Mrs Justice Jefford sentenced the three killers to a total of at least 72 years behind bars.
She said: “Because he was killed in his own home it’s not possible to be sure exactly what happened to him.
“What is very clear is that shortly before his death this little boy was subjected to a brutal attack.
“To see these injuries on a small, defenceless five-year-old is nothing short of horrifying.”
Logan had been referred to social workers in August 2020 after he suffered a broken arm when he “fell downstairs.”
In March last year, a social worker was assigned to the family. But within three months, he was taken off the child protection register meaning he was no longer considered to be at “significant risk of harm.”
Just weeks later, he was finally beaten to death at his home in Bridgend, South Wales, and dumped in the River Ogmore about 250 metres away “like fly-tipped rubbish.”
The day before, a social worker tried to get into his home but was turned away after 20 minutes as Logan had tested positive for Covid.
Police found his tiny, battered body, wearing his Spiderman top and dinosaur pyjamas, partially submerged in the water.
Logan had suffered “catastrophic” internal injuries and 56 external wounds likened to a high speed crash victim.
His mother Angharad Williamson, 31, her partner John Cole, 40, and Craig Mulligan, 14, were found guilty of his murder at Cardiff Crown Court in April.
Today, Mrs Justice Jefford jailed them for life. Williamson wept as the judge ordered her to serve at least 28 years in custody before she can be considered for release.
Cole must spend at least 29 years in jail and Mulligan for a minimum of 15 years.
The teenager can be named for the first time after the judge lifted the anonymity order which normally prevents juvenile defendants from being identified.
Jurors heard how some of Logan’s wounds were inflicted during a “brutal and sustained” assault over days or weeks.
His prolonged agony could only have been relieved by morphine, the court heard.
Despite the scale of his injuries, Logan would have had an 80 percent chance of survival if his merciless killers had sought urgent medical help.
Some of the wounds were caused by a weapon or an object, Mrs Justice Jefford said.
“He was five years old and was described by everyone who knew him as a wonderful child. Bright, chatty and artistic,” she added.
“A little boy who could light up a room. There is no word for his death other than it was a tragedy.”
Once a “smiling and cheerful,” Logan was “dehumanised” by his killers in the months and weeks leading up to his death, the court heard previously.
Logan’s stammer worsened, particularly around Cole. With a cruel irony, the child started to self-harm.
It was clear to friends of the couple that Cole did not like his step-son, the court heard.
Chilling CCTV footage from a neighbouring property showed Cole, 40, carrying Logan’s dead body towards the river in the early hours of July 31, last year.
Hours later, Williamson, 31, faked distress as she rang 999 to report her son missing when she already knew he was dead.
Mulligan, who was 13 at the time of the murder, clearly enjoyed inflicting pain on Logan.
He was once heard singing: ““I love kids, I f****** love kids, I love to punch kids in the head, it’s orgasmic.”
A foster family he once stayed with heard him say he wanted to kill the little boy.
The three killers tried to blame each other for Logan’s death. Williamson even suggested he had been killed by another woman, who was entirely innocent, the court heard.
Caroline Rees, QC, prosecuting, told the court: “Logan was physically and emotionally vulnerable at the time of his death, particularly those days leading up to his death when he had Covid and was isolated in his room.
“Both adult defendants were in a position of trust as his stepfather John Cole and his biological mother Angharad Williamson.
“These are people who Logan should have been able to trust, not kill him in the way they did in this case.”
All three killers denied murder. Williamson and the teenager were also found guilty of perverting the course of justice. Cole admitted the charge.
The report by the safeguarding review is due to be published later this year. A separate inquiry into Bridgend’s children services has been launched.
Assistant Director NSPCC Wales Tracey Holdsworth said: “What happened to Logan should never be forgotten, and it should make us even more determined in our efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect from happening.
“It is vital that the Child Safeguarding Practice Review leaves no stone unturned in establishing exactly what took place before Logan died and whether more could have been done to protect him by the agencies involved with his family.
“We need investment in children’s services in Wales to provide comprehensive support to any child at risk of harm and to be better equipped to prevent a tragedy such as this happening again.
“Anyone with concerns for the wellbeing of a child should contact the local authority, the police or the NSPCC helpline if they feel a child is at risk or could come to harm.”
Mulligan, described as a “monster,” was Logan’s stepbrother.
Cole, who was idolised by Mulligan, is the teenager’s stepfather.
Mulligan was removed from his mother’s care after she violently assaulted him and he was taken into the care of Bridgend County Borough Council for six months.
Caroline Rees QC, prosecuting, said by this time Mulligan was already “a complex, troubled and violent boy”.
He was placed with foster families, one of which described how he made their lives a “living hell” for the several weeks he lived with them, and they became “terrified” of him.
They said he made repeated threats to kill them, injured their daughter and the foster mother and their dog.
Concerns were further raised after he asked two young girls if they wanted to play a “murder game” and said they would have to get inside black bin bags.
They said he had a “desire for violence”, and called him a “monster” in submissions to the court.
The family said they made Mulligan’s social worker Debbie Williams aware of their concerns, however Ms Williams denies this.
Jurors were told how Williamson and Cole deprived Logan of food.
A friend said the couple once tucked into a takeaway but only gave the child a bowl of cereal because “he had misbehaved.”
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