Mulligan’s involvement in the death of a five-year-old should never have been allowed to happen
Logan Mwangi, 5, is pictured in the dinosaur pajamas he was wearing on the day he died
His name will go down in infamy alongside those of Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, the two ten-year-olds jailed for killing James Bulger. It was a crime that saw them become the youngest children to be convicted of murder in modern British history.
At 13, Craig Mulligan was only slightly older when he joined in the attack that left poor Logan Mwangi dying in agony.
The youth’s identity can be revealed today after the judge in the case lifted an anonymity order. But what can also be revealed for the first time is that his involvement in the death of the defenceless five-year-old could – and should – never have been allowed to happen.
Mulligan’s behaviour had been raising red flags for years. Brought up in chaotic circumstances, he delighted in torturing animals and other children, his simmering aggression terrifying even adults. One foster carer described him as ‘pure evil’.
He first came into contact with Logan when his own ‘stepfather’ John ‘Jay’ Cole started dating the little boy’s mother, Angharad Williamson, in 2019. It wasn’t long before he was accused of pushing the child down the stairs, fracturing his arm.
Mulligan should not have been allowed within a million miles of Logan – a vulnerable child whose welfare social services were supposed to be monitoring. Instead, a decision was taken by the family court to formally place the disturbed teenager in the care of Cole and Williamson, meaning he would live with Logan in a two-bed flat.
One social worker involved in the case told the Daily Mail that she was dumbfounded by the decision to allow Mulligan to live with Logan. ‘Craig Mulligan should never have been allowed to live in the same household as Logan. Any social worker would say that. It’s common sense.
‘To have a teenager like that placed with a young boy who’d been on a child protection plan should be an absolute no-no.’
Yet Mulligan moved in on July 26, 2021. Five days later Logan’s body was found.
Meanwhile, it is hard to imagine a less suitable guardian for the pair than Cole. A vile racist with a long list of convictions for everything from violent assaults to witness intimidation, the 40-year-old claimed to have been in the SAS but was in fact nothing more than a controlling bully.
A post mortem discovered 56 external injuries to Logan’s body as well as a torn bowel and liver – the sort of damage normally seen in a car crash or fall from height.
How these injuries were inflicted on Logan no one fully knows. Instead of admitting what they had done, the three turned on one another, concocting conflicting stories in a bid to deflect the blame.
Pictured here is Craig Mulligan convicted of the murder of Logan Mwangi. The youth’s identity can be revealed today after the judge in the case lifted an anonymity order
But perhaps the most likely explanation came from Logan’s mother, Williamson, who told how Cole had punched Logan three or four times in the stomach and ‘sent him flying’ following a row.
She told police that Cole then encouraged the teenage Mulligan to join in the attack, adding that he ‘punched him to the floor and banged his head in the hallway after Jay did it’. She said: ‘Jay encouraged Craig to do it.’
Two days later Logan was dead, Mulligan accompanying Cole as he dumped the boy’s body into a nearby river like fly-tipped rubbish. The teenager has never shown the slightest remorse. The opposite in fact. Two weeks after Logan’s death, Mulligan was heard singing: ‘I love kids. I f****** love kids. I love to punch kids in the head. It’s orgasmic’.
For clues as to how Mulligan now finds himself facing life in prison, we must begin with his birth in Coventry in 2007 to a woman called Rebecca Trudgill.
His dad died when he was young, and Miss Trudgill soon started dating Cole. He formed a father-son relationship with the young boy, who worshipped him.
The couple moved to Bridgend, apparently to give Mulligan, who suffered from ADHD and autism, a better life. However, the relationship between Cole and Miss Trudgill broke down in 2017.
Mulligan was then placed with foster parents – but they were shocked by his behaviour and were left fearing for their safety.
He hid knives around the house and deliberately stamped on the feet of another girl living there who had come out of hospital after an operation on her toes.
On a trip to the cinema to watch In The Heights, the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical set in New York, he shouted out ‘Kill all the Jews!’ at the top of his voice.
He tortured pets and when he told his foster mother he wanted a baseball bat, she bought him one thinking he wanted to take up the sport. Instead, he used it to smash up the local park.
At home, Mulligan would refuse to wash, playing on his X-Box around the clock and urinating in an empty Coca-Cola bottle rather than going to the toilet.
The photo shows Angharad Williamson and her fiance Jay Cole, the mother and stepfather of Logan Mwangi, aged five, who was found dead in the Ogmore River near Pandy Park close to his home in Bridgend in South Wales on 31 July last year
Towards the end of his stay, the foster carer’s daughter said she heard Mulligan making threats to kill Logan – including on the week he was allowed to move into the five-year-old’s home.
But she did not raise the specific concerns about Logan because Mulligan was ‘always talking about killing people’ and was ‘obsessed with killing’.
The foster couple did raise their concerns separately with Debbie Williams, Mulligan’s social worker, but claim they were brushed off.
But Miss Williams told the court she was not told about Mulligan threatening the family.
During his stay with the foster family, he would talk about Cole non-stop. On one occasion he even turned down a caravan holiday to Cornwall with the family, saying: ‘It’s too far from Jay.’
Mulligan’s desire to live with Cole required approval by the family court, a process that began that summer despite deep concerns from Logan’s social worker, Gaynor Rush.
Following a review in June 2021, Logan’s status changed from being a child in protection to a child in need.
Such arrangements are for children who are not deemed at risk but have complex needs. This meant he no longer had an allocated social worker.
Miss Rush said when she heard Williamson and Cole were applying for parental responsibility for Mulligan, she never believed it would be allowed to happen.
She also said she had tried, without success, to contact Mulligan’s social worker, Miss Williams, on multiple occasions to get ‘a better picture of what was going on’.
She only found out the family had been granted parental rights for Mulligan on July 26, 2021, when Logan’s mother texted her.
What was said in the family court to persuade the judge that Mulligan should move into Logan’s home is not known.
But speaking to the Daily Mail, sources close to the case have expressed concerns about the process and whether Mulligan’s situation was efficiently assessed.
‘My big question is did the Cafcass [the organisation that represents children in family court cases in England] adviser undertake a child impact assessment before they were given parental responsibility over Craig?
‘Especially given the trauma he’d been through,’ the source said. ‘A parental assessment takes 12 weeks. You need to take observations of the child, focus on their behaviour at school, talk to their teachers, how the kids interact with one another. How could they have done those checks within a couple of weeks? It doesn’t add up. Logan was an articulate boy, they could have asked him about Craig coming home. He could have talked to the judge about how he felt if he’d been asked.’
The source added: ‘Two experienced foster carers couldn’t cope with him – how were [Williamson and Cole] going to manage?’
On July 30, 2021 – the day before Logan’s body was found – Miss Williams carried out an unannounced visit to check on Mulligan. But Williamson refused to let her in, saying Logan was isolating because of Covid.
Mulligan in turn informed the social worker that he did not need her any more – and then told her to ‘f*** off’.
Miss Williams dismissed the outburst ‘as playful banter’.
It wasn’t funny at the time. And no one is laughing now.
‘Pure evil’: Teen who murdered Logan, 5
By James Tozer
Social services were in the dock last night after it emerged that a ‘pure evil’ teenager murdered a five-year-old boy just days after they allowed him to move into the young boy’s home.
In the latest deadly failure to protect children, Logan Mwangi was tortured and left to die by 13-year-old Craig Mulligan along with his stepfather, racist ex-convict John Cole, 40, and the ‘defenceless’ boy’s mother, Angharad Williamson, 31.
Mulligan – now 14 – was yesterday named and shamed by a judge after an anonymity order was successfully challenged by media including the Daily Mail.
And it can now be revealed how social workers agreed he could move into the family’s cramped flat just five days before the murder. The teenager moved in despite previously threatening to kill Logan.
The arrangement – likened during the murder trial to ‘putting a lit match in a powder keg’ – was approved by the secretive family courts after Cole applied for guardianship of Mulligan.
Despite not being a blood relative, Mulligan idolised Cole and referred to him as ‘dad’. In chilling contrast, he would not refer to Logan as his brother, calling him only ‘the five-year-old’. Social work insiders told the Mail of their incredulity that Mulligan was allowed to live with Logan, who only weeks earlier had been taken off the child protection register.
Logan’s mother, stepfather and Mulligan – who was described as ‘pure evil’ by a foster carer – were convicted of his murder.
And yesterday life sentences were imposed on Cole – said by the judge to have carried out the attack – as well as Mulligan, who she said joined in, and Williamson, who helped them stage a ‘callous’ cover-up. Cole was sentenced to at least 29 years behind bars and Williamson 28 years. Mulligan was detained for a minimum of 15 years.
Amid horror over the previously hidden truth about how Mulligan’s presence was approved by those meant to protect Logan, calls were last night made for Wales to follow England’s example and instigate a nationwide inquiry into child protection failures.
Last night, disturbing footage of Mulligan’s arrest laid bare his arrogant response to Logan’s death, showing him chewing gum and apparently showing no emotion.
The baby-faced 13-year-old calmly lied to officers that when he and Cole were caught on CCTV carrying a black bag at 2.45am on July 31, it contained ‘rubbish’ from the back garden which they ‘chucked’ in the river. In reality, the black bag contained Logan’s body.
The tragedy follows the recent deaths of two other youngsters who suffered similarly horrific neglect. MPs at Westminster have this week been probing the lockdown murders of 16-month-old Star Hobson and Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, six, with council bosses admitting no social workers had been sacked over the tragedies. Both were killed by their parents’ partners during the pandemic after social workers missed signs they were being abused.
Mark Drakeford, the Labour First Minister of Wales, has so far rejected calls for an independent review into children’s social work following Logan’s death.
However, Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds – herself a child protection social worker for more than 25 years –yesterday said there was ‘no reason’ not to follow the England’s example.
Shocking blunders and missed opportunities
Social services repeatedly failed to spot signs that Logan Mwangi was being abused during his short life – despite clear warnings in the weeks and months before his death.
1. Logan’s broken arm
August 16, 2020
Medics call police over possible safeguarding concerns as mother Angharad Williamson waited a day before bringing him into hospital after breaking his arm.
Williamson is quizzed by a detective and tells him Logan fell down the stairs at John Cole’s home nearby – but no further action is taken.
2. Pushed down the stairs
January 21, 2021
Williamson calls 101 and says Mulligan had confessed to pushing Logan down the stairs the previous August. Logan is placed on the child protection register as a result of Cole’s previous convictions.
3. ‘Burned by hot tap’
Williamson calls social worker Gaynor Rush to report that Logan has ‘burned his neck on the bath’.
She asks for photos of the wound and the tap and concludes they were a match. In court, Cole claimed Williamson burned Logan with a scalding teaspoon as a punishment – however she denied doing so.
4. Cole’s bid for parental responsibility
Mulligan’s social worker Debbie Williams supports Cole being granted parental responsibility for the 13-year-old – despite Logan having just been taken off the child protection register. Social worker Gaynor Rush tries to speak to Williams over concerns but said she was ignored.
5. Social worker doesn’t ask to see Logan
July 30, 2021
Debbie Williams attends the family home to check on Mulligan on the day before Logan died. She does not ask to speak to Logan and is not allowed in as he’s self-isolating. Cole asks about claiming benefits, while Mulligan tells her to ‘f*** off’ and says he did not need her any more.
Medical experts have said it was likely that Logan was already seriously injured at this time.