Social services contact with Logan Mwangi’s family to be investigated after murder of five-year-old
A social services investigation is ongoing following the death of five-year-old Logan Mwangi and the convictions of his mother, stepfather and a teenage boy for his murder. Just a month before Logan was killed in July last year, social workers in Bridgend removed him from the child protection register, meaning he was no longer at risk of serious harm .
An investigation will determine if anything could have been done to save him and if improvements to saving practices are needed in Wales. Stepfather John Cole, 40, mother Angharad Williamson, 31, and a 14-year-old boy were all convicted at Cardiff Crown Court of Logan’s murder. Logan had suffered “catastrophic” internal injuries consistent with a “brutal and sustained assault” likened to a car accident.
Jurors heard testimony from Bridgend County Council social workers and medical visitors who were heavily involved with the family in the months leading up to the boy’s death. The day before police found his body in the River Ogmore, social worker Debbie Williams had spent 20 minutes outside their home talking to the three defendants, but had not seen or heard Logan.
Read more:The smiling little boy who stood no chance at the hands of his vicious killers
The previous year, on August 16, a backup recommendation was made after Williamson took Logan to Prince of Wales Hospital, claiming he had fallen down the stairs the day before. She gave a statement to the police and Melanie Smith, an experienced medical visitor, became involved with the family.
Ms Smith said: “There were concerns because of the delay [in taking Logan to the hospital] and the fact that Angharad had tried to put the shoulder back on her own. She said months later, authorities learned the youngster confessed to pushing Logan down the stairs.
When Logan was on the child protection register in March 2021, due to concerns about Cole, social workers had to visit the family every 10 days and were able to offer additional help. Gaynor Rush, who was tasked with this task until she left her post just weeks before her murder, said that during her unscheduled visits to the flat in Lower Llansantffraid where the family lived, the property seemed clean, kids well presented and neat and they had lots of toys.
Ms Rush said Williamson seemed to ‘adore’ Logan and ‘only wanted the best’ for him. She said she initially found Cole intimidating, but her relationship with him and Williamson improved over time.
While giving evidence at trial, Ms Rush broke down in tears, recalling Logan as “a nice little boy, beautifully presented and he was very polite and eloquent”.
However, Ms Rush expressed frustration with Ms Williams, the youngster’s social worker, saying she had refused to share information or work closely with her. Months later, in June 2021, they were placed in a Child In Need scheme instead, which caters for children who are not considered to be at risk but have complex needs and need childcare arrangements. help develop.
The inquiry, a review of the child’s practices, will be led by the Cwm Taf Morgannwg Safeguarding Board, which includes local councils, the police, the probation service and the NHS.
In a statement, the safeguard council said: “After the learning event, the independent reviewers of the case will collate and analyze all the information gathered to complete a report, highlighting the learning of the case, all areas of good practice and recommendations for improving future backup practice.
“It is vitally important that the review is undertaken thoroughly. This can usually take around six months. The Safeguard Council will of course do everything in their power to complete the review as soon as possible, but we anticipate that the earliest it will be possible will be in the fall of 2022.”
Tracey Holdsworth, deputy director of NSPCC Cymru, said “no stone should be overlooked” in understanding whether more could have been done to protect Logan.
“The treatment of Logan Mwangi by people who should have been caring for him was horrendous, but the fact that his death involved another youngster is even more shocking,” she said.
“However, we cannot lose sight of the fact that one of the culprits is still a child and the response to him must be both punishment and appropriate support. could have been done to protect him.
“There also needs to be more investment in children’s services in Wales to ensure they are able to provide comprehensive support for any child at risk and are better equipped to prevent ‘a tragedy like this never happens again in Wales.”
After Logan’s death, South Wales Police approached the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) due to previous contact with the family. The watchdog decided not to investigate and South Wales Police said their own investigation found no wrongdoing.