A report into the murder of a five-year-old boy has identified what it believes may be ‘systemic’ issues with safeguarding children.
It includes a failure to report injuries he suffered months before his death.
Logan Mwangi was killed in his home in Llansantffraid, Sarn, Bridgend, before his body was left in the nearby River Ogmore in the early hours of July 31 last year.
His mother, Angharad Williamson, 31, stepfather John Cole, 40, and stepbrother Craig Mulligan, 14, were all convicted of murder and received life sentences following a trial at Cardiff Crown Court earlier this year.
A child practice review by Cwm Taf Morgannwg Safeguarding Board, published today, has made a series of recommendations to agencies involved with Logan and his family before his death.
It found injuries observed by health practitioners on Logan, referred to in the report as ‘Child T’, were not shared with services that could have taken appropriate action to safeguard him.
The review also highlighted how the Covid-19 pandemic limited the family’s contact with agencies and impacted on the ability to provide ‘optimum child protection processes’.
‘As a result of this extended child practice review, key learning has been identified,’ the report states.
‘The review panel believes that these issues may be systemic, and not isolated instances of individual error or poor practice.’
The report detailed how Cole was reportedly a former member of the National Front and would subject Logan – whose father is of British and Kenyan heritage – to racially derogatory remarks.
Timeline of key events in the life of murdered Logan Mwangi
Here is a timeline of the key events in the life of Logan Mwangi, from his birth up until the discovery of his body in the River Ogmore in Bridgend in July 2021.
– March 15, 2016: Logan Mwangi is born in the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend, to Angharad Williamson and Benjamin Mwangi. Their relationship quickly breaks down and Mr Mwangi moves back to Brentwood, Essex.
– June 2016: Mr Mwangi visits Logan in Bridgend for their first father’s day together and they have regular contact. Williamson and Logan move in with Mr Mwangi in Essex but by August have returned to Wales.
By the end of the year, Williamson had married another man, but the relationship became violent. During this time, contact between Logan and his father ceases.
– 2019: Contact between Logan and his father resumes. In April, Williamson takes Logan to visit Mr Mwangi and his family in Essex. This was the last time Mr Mwangi saw Logan, as Williamson was in a relationship with Cole and was preventing access.
– August 16, 2020: Logan is taken to hospital by his mother, Williamson, who said he sustained a dislocated shoulder when he fell down the stairs the day before. Doctors examining Logan find he has a broken arm. The hospital makes a referral to social services and Williamson gives a statement to the police.
– January 21, 2021: Williamson calls 101 and during the conversation tells the operator the youth defendant had confessed to pushing Logan down the stairs when he fractured his arm.
– June 2021: Social workers in Bridgend remove Logan and his younger sibling from the child protection register – meaning they are no longer considered to be at significant risk of harm.
– July 2021: At some point during the weeks before his death, Logan suffered a broken collarbone. There are no records of the injury being treated.
– July 20, 2021: Logan tests positive for Covid-19 and has to self-isolate.
– July 29, 2021: Logan is allegedly seriously assaulted by both Cole and the youth, an incident which Williamson claimed included Logan being punched in the stomach by Cole.
– July 30, 2021: Williamson allegedly lifts Logan up forcefully by his pyjama top, causing it to rip, and shouts at him to ‘tell the truth’. The same day, social worker Deborah Williams visits the flat but is denied entry, as Logan has Covid-19. She stays for 20 minutes and leaves without seeing or hearing Logan.
– July 31, 2021: At 2.30am, CCTV shows Cole carrying Logan’s body out of the flat and towards the river, while being followed by the youth. They return to the property but leave again to dispose of Logan’s ripped pyjama top.
At about 5.45am Williamson makes a 999 call to police, claiming to have woken to find Logan missing from the house, and accusing another woman of having taken him.
Two police officers searching the nearby park area just after 6am discover Logan’s body in the River Ogmore.
Logan was allowed to leave self-isolation the day he was found dead.
Cole had previous convictions including assault on a child, possession of an offensive weapon, theft and illegal drug possession, and had served a prison sentence for burglary.
In August 2020, Logan attended his local accident and emergency unit with an injury to his arm, bruises to his right cheek and a fractured upper arm.
A child protection referral was made, raising concerns in relation to the delay in Williamson bringing Logan to hospital for medical attention.
However, social services and police ‘agreed that the threshold to undertake child protection enquiries had not been met at that stage, on the basis that there was limited medical information’, the report states.
Police checked Cole’s convictions and it was ‘agreed at that time he was not an appropriate person to solely care’ for Logan or Mulligan.
Officers attended the hospital as well as the family home, where they were told Logan’s injuries were due to him falling down the stairs.
In a further health assessment by a paediatric doctor, Logan was found to have sustained ‘wider bruising and injuries’, with 31 images taken of these.
Records document that he had a blue mark above his genitalia, two bruises to his ankle, two bruises to his forehead, bruising to the top of both ears, bruising behind one ear, bruises to both cheeks and a carpet bruise to his chin.
Logan also had bruising to his left arm and bruising around his broken shoulder.
The report states: ‘There is no evidence that information about these injuries was shared with agencies outside of the Health Board.’
Williamson claimed Logan would bang his head, pinch himself and said the mark to his ears was from wearing a mask to protect from Covid-19. No explanation was given to the mark above his genitalia.
The report added there were no records of a child protection referral being submitted in relation to these injuries, or wider concerns for Logan’s welfare.
‘Only initial concerns in respect of a delay in attending hospital were shared in relation to Child T allegedly falling down the stairs, with further injuries being observed later and not shared,’ the report states.
‘As a result, injuries observed on Child T were not shared with services that could have taken appropriate action to safeguard him.
‘Several of the injuries, even in isolation, should have triggered a referral.
‘If the injuries were considered by health professionals to be non-accidental there should have been clear considerations to the number of injuries and site on the body, parental supervision being afforded to Child T and if wider agencies’ support was required.
‘This again should have triggered a child protection referral.’
The following day, the family’s social situation was discussed by children’s services and health professionals. The paediatric consultant did not consider that Logan had suffered a non-accidental injury.
A discussion followed between police and children’s services, which agreed that Logan should be discharged from hospital into his mother’s care.
Children’s services then agreed that the referral would be closed.
The report has made 10 local recommendations and five national recommendations following Logan’s death.
These include urging Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board to commission an independent review into its practice and management of identifying and investigating non-accidental injuries in children.
Nationally, it suggests the Welsh Government should consider commissioning a review of approaches to undertaking Child Protection Conferences to help with identifying best practice, as well as the possibility of an annual National Awareness Campaign to raise public awareness on how to report safeguarding concerns.
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