Logan Mwangi murder: Mother, stepfather and teen jailed for killing 'beautiful' five-year-old boy

Copyright Wales News Service
Logan - a once "smiling, cheerful little boy" - was dumped in a river having suffered 56 external cuts and bruises and "catastrophic" internal injuries. Credit: South Wales Police

The mother and stepfather of a five-year-old boy whose lifeless body was found dumped in a river have been jailed for life for his murder.

Angharad Williamson, 31, and John Cole, 40, of Sarn, Bridgend, were convicted of murdering Logan Mwangi by a jury at Cardiff Crown Court in April.

A 14-year-old - who can now be named as Craig Mulligan after a judge lifted an anonymity order at Cardiff Crown Court - was sentenced to 15 years for murder.

The judge said the injuries Logan sustained at the hands of the trio were "nothing short of horrifying."

Logan, a once "smiling, cheerful little boy", was found by police in the River Ogmore in Bridgend on the morning of July 31, 2021.

Logan's mother Angharad Williamson and stepfather John Cole have been jailed for life. Credit: South Wales Police

He was partially submerged in the water wearing dinosaur pyjama bottoms and a Spider-Man top, just 250 metres from his home.

Logan had suffered 56 external cuts and bruises and "catastrophic" internal injuries, which were likened to those seen in a fall from a great height or a high-velocity car crash.

Experts said the injuries could have only been caused by a "brutal and sustained assault" inflicted on Logan in the hours, or days, before his death.

In the months and weeks before his murder, Logan had been "dehumanised" by his family, prosecutors said during the trial.

Logan's stammer worsened, becoming particularly bad around Cole. He wet himself more frequently and began self-harming.

Logan's stammer had become particularly bad around John Cole, the trial heard.

Friends of the couple said Cole told them he did not like Logan, and others said his attitude changed after becoming obsessed with the idea that Williamson had cheated with Logan's biological father Benjamin Mwangi.

Medical staff made a safeguarding referral to the police after Logan suffered a broken arm in August 2020.

By March, due to concerns over Cole, Logan had been assigned his own social worker.

But in June, a month before he died, Logan had been removed from the child protection register – meaning it was believed there was no longer a risk of significant harm.

Weeks before he died, Logan suffered a broken collarbone but medical treatment was never sought for him.

On July 20, Logan tested positive for Covid-19 and he was shut in his bedroom with a baby gate stopping him from leaving.

Caroline Rees QC, prosecuting, said: “He had been kept like a prisoner in his small bedroom in the flat you saw, a room likened by Williamson as a dungeon.”

The babygate used to keep Logan confined to his bedroom in the days before his death. Credit: South Wales Police

In a victim impact statement read during sentencing, Ben Mwangi, Logan's biological father, said: "The last 10 months have been hell for me. I experienced a little anxiety when I was younger but this has majorly exacerbated since the death of Logan.  

"I can't sleep and keep experiencing recurring nightmares. My dreams of Logan are so vivid, Logan comes to tell me that he is ok and to check if I'm ok. He runs into my arms and I hold him tight, but he then slowly disappears until he's no longer in my arms. I wake up screaming and crying."

'Logan was the sweetest and most beautiful boy'

Ben Mwangi's statement continued: "Logan was the sweetest and most beautiful boy whose life has been tragically cut short. The world is a colder and darker place without his warm smile and the happy energy with which he lived his life."

Sentencing the trio at Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday (June 30), Justice Jefford said Logan’s death could only be described as a “tragedy”. 

The judge told the court that Logan’s death could only be described as a “tragedy”.

Addressing Williamson, Cole and the youth, the judge said: “You were all responsible for his death and all the anguish that has followed it. It is not possible to know exactly what happened to him, but we know he was subjected to a brutal attack”. 

Mrs Justice Jefford added: “The inflicting of these injuries on a small defenceless child is nothing short of horrifying”.

Addressing Angharad Williamson directly, Mrs Justice Jefford said it was her belief that the physical assault was perpetrated by John Cole and the youth defendant. However, she told Williamson: "This fatal assault could not have happened without your full knowledge and collusion”. 

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 the youth was sentenced to 15 years.