Logan Mwangi: What happened to the 'beautiful' boy murdered by his own mother and stepfather
“Please, please help me. Send somebody, he’s not here. My son, he’s my baby and he’s not here! I tucked him in last night and I have got up and he’s not here”.
It’s 5:46am on July 31, 2021. Angharad Williamson, 30, makes an anguished phone call to 999 reporting her five-year-old son Logan Mwangi missing.
She was hyperventilating, shouting Logan’s name, and wailing for help.
The 13 minute call is chilling to listen to. This was a manufactured and manipulative performance by a woman who had participated in the murder of her own son.
She did not commit this terrible crime alone. Williamson was willfully helped by her partner, 40-year-old John Cole, and Cole's 14-year-old stepson Craig Mulligan.
We will never truly know exactly what happened inside Logan’s home when he was killed. We do now know that all three of his murderers had a part to play in a sustained and brutal assault, which ultimately led to his death, and the subsequent cover up.
Now, many months since that tragic day in Bridgend, Logan’s killers have been brought to justice.
Logan was born on March 15, 2016. He was described as “a lovely little boy. Cheerful, chatty, polite, kind and caring”, as the jury was shown a picture of him in court at the start of the trial. His lifeless body was found partially submerged in the River Ogmore, in the Sarn area of Bridgend, on July 31 last year.
Logan lived with his mother Angharad Williamson and her partner John Cole, who occupied a stepfather’s position in Logan’s life.
Logan’s biological father, Benjamin Mwangi, who lives in Essex, had not seen him for around three years. He and Angharad Williamson had split up in August 2016.
In a statement read to the court, Mr Mwangi said he was told by police at his workplace that Logan was dead. “I was hysterical and fell to the floor,” he said.
Logan was described in court as having a slight stutter, a child who was energetic and excitable. His stutter was said to get worse when he was around John Cole.
Logan’s teacher at Tondu Primary School, Catherine Richards, told the jury that he loved school and would “light up the classroom with his smile”.
“He was very bright”, she said. “He was engrossed in everything and loved learning… he was a polite little boy”.
Angharad Williamson, John Cole and the teenage boy
Williamson and Cole were in a settled relationship and had been dating since Easter 2019.
John Cole was born in Rugby, England on February 4, 1982. He moved to Wales in 2017 for a “fresh start” when he was still in a relationship with another woman.
Cole had been convicted of multiple crimes when he lived in England, including for assault, battery and perverting the course of justice. He had no convictions since 2007 and Williamson had only ever been prosecuted once before for stealing.
Asked about the start of his relationship with Ms Williamson, Cole said: “It was amazing... We clicked, we connected instantly. We bonded straight away”.
Angharad Williamson was born on March 16, 1991. She has an array of health issues, including epilepsy which causes her to have regular seizures. When she met Cole she was living alone in Sarn with Logan, who had been born by c-section due to maternal epilepsy.
Logan’s grandmother, Clare Williamson, had a close relationship with him. He would go for sleepovers at her house, but Clare’s relationship with Angharad became distant in the final six months of Logan’s life.
When Clare Williamson gave evidence in court, she said Cole had put a stop to their close relationship.
“Jay more and more came between me and Angharad and he put his foot down,” she told the jury.
The final defendant is 14-year-old Craig Mulligan, whose identity was protected during the trial due to his age but was subsequently identified when a judge lifted an anonymity order.
The jury was told Mulligan, Cole's stepson, was a “complex, troubled and violent boy”.
The trial heard evidence from a family who Mulligan had lived with previously. A woman, who we cannot identify, said Mulligan talked about the horror film series ‘The Purge’, and threatened to kill her, her husband, her daughter and their dog when the new film came out.
The comment "horrified" them.
Mulligan had also reportedly made threats to kill Logan, the latest of which had been on July 26, just days before Logan was found dead.
On August 14, 2021, after Mulligan was arrested and living under local authority care, he was told to go to bed but was playing up.
While in bed, he was said to have shouted: “I love kids, I f****** love kids, I like to punch kids in the head, it’s orgasmic”.
The witness told the trial: “(Mulligan) shouted it with determination and with no particular melody. He wanted us to know what he was singing about.”
Another support worker who gave evidence separately heard Mulligan shouting: “Where are the kids? I want to kill all the kids.”
The week of Logan Mwangi's murder
Logan had tested positive for Covid-19 on July 21. He was due to be allowed to leave isolation on July 31, but by then he was dead.
Logan behaved as any normal five-year-old would in that situation. He was active and energetic, but Cole said he and Williamson had been “struggling” to contain him in the home.
On the Thursday, July 29, Williamson said Logan was subject to a “serious assault” by Cole and Mulligan.
She said Logan was punched hard twice in the stomach by Cole following an argument, before Mulligan performed a “martial arts” move on the five-year-old.
Williamson said: “He asked for [Mulligan] to come from the living room into the hallway and said 'If he flinches again or stutters, sweep him'. He did and he pushed his head to the ground."
Williamson said she ran into the living room to get her phone but could not find it so ran from the house to call for help.
After checking him over, Williamson said Logan had not appeared to have sustained any serious injury following that incident, complaining only of an “owchie” which she treated with painkillers.
CCTV shown to jurors from 2:52pm that afternoon appeared to show a physical confrontation between Mulligan and Williamson outside Logan’s home, where the teenager appeared to block her path to exit into the road.
Accounts from eyewitnesses described Williamson as “hysterical” during this confrontation. Williamson told the jury she was trying to get help for Logan but neighbour Fred Witchell said he heard Logan’s mother telling Mulligan to stop because he was “making a scene”.
After initially denying knowing about any violence towards Logan in her police interviews, Williamson eventually told officers she was “scared of Cole” and he had threatened her and her family, saying “he will kill her now that she has talked”.
She said Cole had lied to her about being in the SAS, apparently showing her videos of tours of Afghanistan he had been on. Williamson went on to describe Cole as “a good man but he has a violent, angry streak,” although she confirmed he had never been violent towards her.
In court, Cole described Friday July 30 as “crazy” in Logan’s home. It would also be Logan’s last day alive.
“Logan was kicking off, running around all over the place, not doing what he was told to do, refusing to eat, just misbehaving.”
His defence barrister David Elias QC said: “How long did it go on?”
“All day”, Cole said.
In his police interviews, Cole described how on that Friday, Williamson had become frustrated with Logan who was making comments about her and his biological father, Ben. He said that she grabbed him and shook him telling him to "stop f****** lying".
At lunchtime that day, a social worker made an unscheduled visit to the property.
Deborah Williams was refused entry to the house because of Logan’s isolation but during a 20 minute conversation, Williamson told her that Logan was “a bit up and down”.
Once again, Williamson did not take the opportunity to raise the alarm about the assault on Logan she says she witnessed the day before.
Logan Mwangi’s body is moved
On July 31 2021, at 2.43am, John Cole can be seen on CCTV leaving the property carrying something, which he later confirmed was Logan’s dead body.
Closely followed by the then-13 year old, they make their way across the river to walk along the riverside path to the spot in which Cole dumped Logan’s body.
The journey took just nine minutes. A second trip was then taken by Mulligan and Cole, this time to throw away Logan’s damaged pyjama top.
A partner of one of the neighbours told the trial she was woken at 5am by the sound of a woman shouting: “What have you done with my son? Where is my son? I want my son."
Paula Heath said she then heard a male shouting: "I have done nothing with your son".
The police investigation begins
Less than an hour after Miss Heath heard that confrontation, Williamson called the police saying Logan was missing.
PC Lauren Keen was one of the first officers to attend the scene, arriving at 5:55am to begin searching for a boy of Logan’s description.
At 6:10am, her colleague PCSO Peter Freeth spotted a body in the river. Bodycam footage shows PC Keen running down a muddy bank, taking three strides into the water, before picking Logan’s body up.
He was wearing a set of mismatched pyjamas, with a spiderman top and dinosaur patterned bottoms.
Giving evidence in court, PC Keen said: “I wasn’t able to see his face until I picked him up. I could see he had an injury on the left side of his head. His eyes were wide open and his body was stiff.
“I formed the opinion that Logan was deceased”.
In a section of heavily blurred bodycam footage shown to the jury, both officers take it in turns to administer CPR to Logan on the river bank. In the background, two male voices - now known to be Cole and Mulligan - can be heard shouting “Logan, Logan”.
When senior paramedic Mark Howells arrived, Logan’s body temperature was just 20.1 degrees centigrade, the lowest temperature he had ever recorded on a patient.
Howells formed the opinion that Logan must have been in the river for some hours, and after finding no signs of life, he handed him over to the medical retrieval team who took his body to hospital.
Andrew Connelly, a paramedic of 37 years, also arrived in the area. Before he got to where his colleagues were administering CPR, he was approached by a woman, now known to be Angharad Williamson. “She seemed very distressed” and was “shouting and crying,” he said.
Meanwhile, a police officer called Ryan Matthews arrived at Logan’s home. The jury saw his body-worn camera footage, which showed John Cole, known to many as Jay, asking: “Is [Logan] OK? Why is there an ambulance?”
Williamson is heard shouting: “Where is [Logan]? I need to see him. Jay they’re not telling me anything”.
Frustrated by the lack of updates about Logan from the police officers with her, Williamson shouts: “I’ve watched enough documentaries. They’re not telling us something. I’m sick of being treated like an idiot. Something is going on.”
The crime scene cover up they attempted is now the subject of a police documentary, but the lies they told would perhaps be too far-fetched for a fictional film.
Noticeable on PC Matthews’ body-worn footage is the clear sound of a washing machine or tumble dryer in mid-cycle. During the trial, the prosecution’s barrister Caroline Rees QC asked: “Why on earth would they be doing the laundry as a matter of such urgency in the circumstances?”
A bedsheet belonging to Logan was later found inside the tumble dryer. Blood stains matching Logan’s DNA were discovered on Logan’s pillow and duvet - bedding they failed to wash in their rush to dispose of evidence.
While officers stayed with Cole and Williamson in the house, Logan’s body was transferred from Pandy Park to the Princess of Wales hospital, arriving at 7:15am.
CPR only stopped when it was clear there was no chance of resuscitation.
After Dr Rhian Dyer pronounced him dead, that information was passed to officers in Sarn. PS Richard Lea described to the jury the moment he told Logan’s mother that he could not be saved.
Bodycam footage shows her collapsing onto Logan’s bed in reaction to the news, apparently having a seizure.
“Some of my colleagues have been deeply, deeply traumatised by this event,” PS Lea told the court.
Angharad Williamson’s performance at the hospital
Officers then accompanied Williamson to the hospital to see Logan’s body and confirm its identity. Williamson told police she was convinced they had mis-identified Logan and even then kept up an act that she was convinced he was still alive.
Rosie O’Neill, a nurse working in the A&E department at the Princess of Wales hospital, met Williamson on arrival. She said she was “quite frantic” and was “wailing as I thought any grieving woman would be”.
Asked in court about her daughter’s behaviour in hospital, Angharad’s mother Clare Williamson said she was in no doubt that her distress was genuine, but medical staff developed suspicions.
Williamson showed staff a picture of Logan on her phone. Another nurse called Sarah-Lee Thorne confirmed it was the same person as the body that had arrived. At that confirmation, Williamson again collapsed and had to be calmed down by staff.
Rosie O’Neill and nurse Thorne said they never saw a genuine tear fall from her eyes.
A comment made by Williamson then further aroused suspicions: “I wish I had taught him to swim, I wish I had given him swimming lessons,” she said.
At that point, no one had yet told her specifics about where Logan’s body had been found.
Upon seeing Logan’s body in the hospital, Williamson asked why his pyjamas were wet. One of the other nurses told her it was because he had been found in the river to which Williamson, apparently shocked, replied: “You are the only person to tell me that”.
Williamson told hospital staff that Logan had been “completely well” when he went to bed the night before.
The distressing medical evidence heard during the trial proved that claim to be an outrageous lie.
Logan Mwangi’s injuries
The most difficult, upsetting and truly unfathomable days in court took place when the expert witnesses were called for the prosecution case.
Details of the injuries sustained by that small, defenceless and good-natured five-year-old were horrific for the jury to hear.
On more than one occasion, witness evidence had to be paused to allow a juror in floods of tears to be allowed a break from the unrelenting misery emanating from the witness box.
The testimony of the expert pathologist Dr John Williams was delivered professionally and calmly, but it was hard to fully comprehend the extent of Logan’s ordeal.
The jury was shown diagrams showing a total of 56 external injuries and marks were found on Logan’s body.
The diagrams were computer generated, but his injuries were all too real.
He had “extensive deep scalp bruising” to the back and front of his head, a 5.5cm by 3cm tear to his liver and a rupture to the first part of his small bowel.
More distressing still was Dr Williams’ expert analysis that concluded that due to some evidence of “healing change occurring”, there must have been a “period of survival post injury in order for the healing process to start”.
“The findings do not indicate that death took place immediately after the injuries,” Dr Williams went on, as Williamson sobbed loudly in the dock. “The injuries were inflicted in life,” he continued.
He said the nature of some of Logan’s injuries were more usually seen in high-speed car accidents or a fall from a great height. In the absence of a high-velocity accident, Dr Williams concluded that Logan’s injuries were “indicative of a severe, localised blunt force trauma injury”.
The evidence of the neuro-pathologist Dr George Lammie was equally detailed and complicated, and no less upsetting.
He too concluded that the injuries to Logan’s brain must have been caused by “significant trauma” normally caused by a rapid acceleration or deceleration of a brain, for example when a moving head is brought to a rapid stop in a car accident.
Due to the specific factors in this case, the “length of this survival period is difficult to estimate”, Dr Lammie told the jury, but it would have been “at least several hours”.
Next to give her evidence in court was Dr Deborah Stalker, an expert paediatrician.
She said it was without doubt that the people around Logan “would have been aware” that something was wrong with him.
The pain, she said, would have been “very nasty” and would have required not the child painkillers given to him by his mother, but morphine.
The significant internal blood loss he suffered - thought to be more than 20% of the total quantity in his body - would have caused him to lose consciousness, organ failure and ultimately death.
A moment that will live with me forever, and quite possibly the entire jury, took place when Dr Stalker told the court about Logan’s chances of survival following his injuries.
Had he been taken to hospital quickly, Logan would have had a roughly 80% chance of survival. Instead, he was left to die.
Once again, at that terrible revelation the court paused for a 30 minute break as a member of the jury became visibly upset.
“The clustering of the bruises… and the lack of an adequate explanation brings me to the conclusion that these were non-accidental,” Dr Stalker resumed later.
“They were inflicted,” she concluded.
Under cross examination by John Cole’s barrister David Elias QC, Dr Stalker was asked about the burn mark on Logan's neck.
The burn had very clear edges and Dr Stalker said: “Burns that are very demarcated are more likely to be inflicted”.
The cause of this “suspicious injury”, as she called it, was later explained by Cole when he gave evidence.
He said there had been an occasion when Logan had been misbehaving and Williamson had removed a teaspoon from her hot coffee mug and touched it forcefully against his neck.
From the dock, Williamson cried out: “You piece of s***, f****** liar”.
At the time of the incident, the couple lied to Logan’s social worker, telling her he had burned it on a tap.
The key evidence
In her police interviews, Angharad Williamson claimed to have been asleep through the night, only to wake in the early hours to find him gone.
She told police the back door did not close properly. She told them another woman she did not like must have taken him. When she was told there were CCTV pictures showing her partner carrying his body to the river, she appeared to be shocked.
But Angharad Williamson knew the grim reality of what had happened that night - and the CCTV proved that.
Whilst Mulligan and Cole were out of the property, movement could be observed in Logan’s bedroom and his light was switched on.
The only person in the property capable of doing that was Williamson who must have been awake and in Logan’s bedroom at the time his body was being dumped in the river.
Logan’s five year life, beaten out of him in his final days and hours. His body, treated like household rubbish, disposed of in minutes.
In case there had been any doubt of Williamson’s lies about being asleep throughout, analysis of her phone use showed her viewing “Dr Pimple Popper” videos and accessing her online banking at various points during the night.
The aftermath of the arrests
All three said and did things after their arrests that further incriminated them.
A prison guard who escorted Cole to an earlier court hearing heard him saying: “I’ve got a moral dilemma. Do I go down for murder and protect [Mulligan]?”.
Employees of a facility where the Mulligan was being kept reported on August 14 hearing the teenager singing “I love kids. I f******g love kids. I love to punch kids in the head. It’s orgasmic”.
Another professional who gave evidence in the trial said they heard Mulligan enter a facility saying: “Where are the kids? I want to kill all the kids”.
The court also heard directly from a witness who had shared a prison wing with Williamson in Eastwood Park prison.
Joanne Brooks said the first thing Williamson had said to her was: “Have you heard of me, do you know who I am?
“She said have you heard of the Bridgend baby, the boy who was murdered and thrown in the river. I am his mother.”
Brooks described her demeanour as “concerning”, further compounded by an encounter after Williamson had been charged with murder. Brooks said she saw her “watching Married at First Sight Australia (a reality TV show) and eating snacks - laughing at what was on the screen”.
When a prison officer came to check on her, “wailing would begin” and would stop “as soon as it began”.
It took the jury of five men and seven women at Cardiff Crown Court just five hours to deliberate and come back with their verdict.
Angharad Williamson, John Cole and 14-year-old Craig Mulligan were all found guilty of murder. Both Williamson and the teen were also found guilty of perverting the course of justice, a charge Cole had already admitted to.
Williamson screamed "no, no, no" as her guilty verdicts were returned. Judge Mrs Justice Jefford had to interrupt the jury and the clerk to tell Williamson to be quiet before the verdict against Mulligan was given.
"Out of respect for your son and the youth please be quiet for the verdicts," she said.
John Cole was sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to serve a minimum of 29 years. Angharad Williamson was also sentenced to life imprisonment and was ordered to serve a minimum of 28 years, while Mulligan was sentenced to 15 years.