The heartbroken father of murdered five-year-old Logan Mwangi has started campaigning to have the law changed so that estranged parents are told if social services become involved with their biological child.
Logan’s Law would ensure absent parents are notified if their child is placed on the child protection register, Benjamin Mwangi said.
Logan and his younger sibling were placed on the register in March 2021 after concerns were raised about his mother Angharad Williamson’s boyfriend John Cole, who had previous convictions for violence.
In June 2021, just a month before Logan’s death, they were removed from the register – meaning it was believed there was no longer a risk of significant harm.
Logan, a previously “smiling, cheerful little boy”, was discovered submerged in the River Ogmore in Pandy Park, Bridgend, on the morning of July 31 2021.
He had been dumped there by Cole and his 13-year-old stepson, Craig Mulligan, in the middle of the night after suffering more than 50 external cuts and bruises, and “catastrophic” internal injuries, which were likened to those suffered by victims of high-speed road accidents.
Following a trial at Cardiff Crown Court, Cole, Williamson and Mulligan were sentenced last Friday to life in prison, and told they would serve at least 29, 28 and 15 years respectively.
Judge Mrs Justice Jefford told the court: “Because he was killed in his own home and by his own family, it is not possible to be sure exactly what happened to him. But what is very clear is that, shortly before his death, this little boy – 3ft 5in in height and weighing only 3st 1lb – was subjected to a brutal attack.”
Mr Mwangi told ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Monday: “I don’t really think anybody could really find the words to actually even explain how any parent could treat their child in such a disgraceful way. Or anybody can treat a child in that manner.
“And so trying to find the words to try to explain it in my mind is just really completely incomprehensible. Completely inconceivable.”
Mr Mwangi, who lives in Brentwood, Essex, said he had been co-parenting Logan with Williamson, who moved to South Wales shortly before Logan’s birth in March 2016 to be closer to her mother.
But he said Williamson cut off contact after beginning a relationship with Cole in 2019.
“As soon as Cole stepped on to the scene everything completely changed,” Mr Mwangi said.
“He said that I was talking to her too much. But obviously we’d only talk about Logan. And after that everything just fell apart.
“She sent me a nasty message saying Logan has a family now, he doesn’t need me and I’m never going to see my son again.”
Mr Mwangi continued to have occasional telephone contact with Logan during visits with his grandmother, Williamson’s mother, at weekends. However, that soon ended when Williamson stopped Logan visiting her mother.
“Because I hadn’t seen Logan in so long, I had absolutely no knowledge, or no idea, about what was going on. I had absolutely no knowledge whatsoever about what was happening to Logan,” Mr Mwangi said.
“This is exactly what Logan’s Law is going to be about – to let estranged parents like myself actually know when their child has gone to social services.
“If I would have had any inkling whatsoever that Logan was known (to social services), I would have gone with a police escort and told social services ‘OK, I’m getting my son’s things and I’m taking him away from this obviously hostile environment. If he’s in danger, let’s make him safe’.”
A child practice review – an investigation into the circumstances of Logan’s death – is now under way and Mr Mwangi said one of the key questions to be answered is why he, as Logan’s biological father, was not contacted.
Other questions to be explored will include how Mulligan came to be placed in the family home.
Cole and Williamson won custody of Mulligan on July 26 2021 and he went to live with them at their home in Sarn, five days before Logan was killed.
Mulligan, now 14, was described as an already “troubled and violent boy” who had made repeated threats to kill Logan in the presence of his foster carers.
– A Logan’s Law petition on Change.org has so far received 7,331 signatures.