UNMASKED: Twisted stepbrother, 14, who murdered Logan Mwangi just FIVE DAYS after courts allowed him to move in to same house despite vowing to KILL the child – in yet ANOTHER social services failure
- John Cole, 40, Angharad Williamson, 31, and a 14-year-old boy, were today sentenced for Logan’s murder
- Found partially submerged, wearing dinosaur pyjama bottoms and a Spider-Man top, 250 yards from home
- He had suffered horrific abuse, including being tortured, starved, kept ‘prisoner’ and forced to do push-ups
Logan Mwangi’s teenage killer can finally be unmasked as his 14-year-old stepbrother Craig Mulligan – who moved into the family home just five days before his death despite vowing to kill the child in yet another social services failure.
Mulligan – who was found guilty of the five-year-old’s murder alongside his stepfather John Cole, 40, and stepmother Angharad Williamson, 31 – had previously been under the care of foster parents who described him as ‘pure evil’.
Mulligan’s identity had been anonymised due to his age – but a judge lifted the order of naming him after he was jailed for 15 years for Logan’s murder.
Mulligan moved into the family home in Sarn, Bridgend, after Cole and mum Angharad Williamson successfully applied for custody of him.
Their bid was approved by the family courts – despite Logan being on the child protection register and Mulligan’s previous threats to kill him.
Mulligan would refer to Cole as ‘dad’ and Williamson as ‘mum’ but would not refer to Logan as his brother – calling him only: ‘the five-year-old’.
Craig Mulligan was not related to Logan but was the other stepson of killer John Cole. He moved into the house five days before Logan’s death
Judge Mrs Justice Jefford said it was of ‘significant public interest’ to know why Mulligan had been placed into the family home just five days earlier.
‘A key aspect of this case is the relationship between Craig Mulligan and John Cole. He idolised his father
‘His attitude towards Logan and involvement in his death was driven by that relationship.’
‘He assaulted Logan either because he was instructed to do so by John Cole or to emulate John Cole and win his approval.’
She said not naming Mulligan would ‘restrict’ the press’ ability to report on the Child Safeguarding Review.
John Cole, 40, Angharad Williamson, 31, will have to serve minimum terms of 29 years and 28 years consecutively, while a 14-year-old boy, who cannot be named because of his age, will serve a minimum of 15 years after also being found guilty of murder.
On July 20, 2021, Logan tested positive for Covid and was shut in his bedroom with a baby gate barring him from leaving.
Hours later, his body was discovered partially submerged in the River Ogmore in Bridgend, South Wales, on July 31. He was found just 250 yards from his home, still wearing his dinosaur pyjama bottoms and Spider-Man top.
The schoolboy – who was just 3ft 5in and weighed 3st at the time of his death – was tortured, starved and forced to do push-ups until he collapsed.
Logan had suffered 56 external cuts and bruises, and ‘catastrophic’ internal injuries likened to a high-speed road accident, caused by a ‘brutal and sustained assault’ in the hours, or days, prior to his death.
Experts said his injuries were ‘consistent with child abuse’ and prosecutors said in the months and weeks leading up to his death, Logan had been ‘dehumanised’ by his family.
Logan’s stammer had worsened, becoming particularly bad around Cole, and the terrified little boy wet himself more frequently and began self-harming.
Cole, a former National Front member who nicknamed the five-year-old ‘Coco Pop’, forced the boy to eat Weetabix on family ‘takeaway nights’ while they feasted on KFC, and would tease him about the food he was missing out on.
In June 2021 the family were removed from the child protection register – meaning it was believed there was no longer a risk of significant harm.
Social workers visited Logan’s house the day before he died, and took no action in May 2021 when he burned his neck on a hot bath tap. Social services had also been aware that Cole had a criminal record for violence.
The boy’s killing has chilling echoes of the tragic death of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, who suffered a similar terrible fate when his life was put in similar danger after the country went into lockdown.
Police had also failed to take action a year earlier, when the five-year-old broke his arm. It emerged in court he had been pushed down the stairs by the 14-year-old who later took part in killing him.
The court heard how Logan’s teenage killer had threatened to kill his foster family, tortured their dog and asked girls to play a ‘murder game where he would put their bodies in black bags.’
The little boy’s biological father had not seen him since 2019, after Williamson started a new relationship with Cole and stopped him from seeing his son. Cole had also banned Williamson’s mother – Logan’s grandmother – from visiting.
Judge Mrs Justice Jefford said Logan was, ‘subjected to a brutal attack’, telling his killers: ‘Inflicting these injuries on a small, defenceless five-year-old is nothing short of horrific.’
John Cole, 40, Angharad Williamson, 31, will have to serve minimum terms of 29 years and 28 years consecutively
Logan Mwangi’s mother Angharad Williamson, 31, (left) and her partner John Cole (right), 40, have both been sentenced to life in prison for Logan’s murder
Logan (pictured) was found dead in the River Ogmore in Pandy Park, around 250 metres from the flat where he lived with his family in Lower Llansantffraid, Sarn, Bridgend on the morning of July 31, 2021
Cole was caught on CCTV carrying Logan’s limp body from the flat across a playing field towards the river where he was found by police shortly after dawn on July 31
Logan’s biological father Ben Mwangi (seen outside court today) said he collapsed at work when police officers informed him Logan’s tiny three stone body had been found dumped in a river
The judge told his killers: ‘You are responsible for Logan’s death and all the anguish that has followed from it. Because he was killed in his own home, it is not possible to be sure what has happened to him.
‘Shortly before his death, at which time he was three feet five inches and weighed only three stone one pound, he was subjected to a brutal attack.’
‘It’s like every fibre in my body has died’: Logan’s father’s harrowing victim impact statement
The heartbroken father of murdered Logan Mwangi said his son visits him in ‘recurring nightmares’ when he wakes from dreams screaming and crying. Ben Mwangi said he collapsed at work when police officers informed him Logan’s tiny three stone body had been found dumped in a river.
Mr Mwangi’s ex, mum Angharad Williamson, was convicted of Logan’s murder as was stepdad John Cole, 40, and a 14-year-old youth who cannot be named.
In a victim impact statement read to Cardiff Crown Court, Mr Mwangi said the world was a ‘colder and darker place’ without Logan. He said: ‘On Saturday 31st July 2021 I was at my place of work when police officers came and told me about the death of Logan. They told me that his body had been found in the River Ogmore in the early hours of the morning. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, I felt so confused.
‘I just collapsed on the floor and hit my head. I just felt like every fibre in my body had died and couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t understand how something like this could have happened to my son. The rest of the day was a blur as I waited for more information. It was so painful. The following day when I was made aware that Logan’s mother had been arrested on suspicion of his murder. I am just devastated that I couldn’t have been there to protect him.
‘The last 10 months have been hell for me. I can’t sleep and keep experiencing recurring nightmares. My dreams of Logan are so vivid, Logan comes to tell me that he ok and to check if I’m ok. He runs into him in 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. I find it difficult to go back to sleep; I don’t want to go back to sleep because I don’t want to experience these dreams because they are so painful.
‘Logan was the sweetest and most beautiful boy whose life has been tragically cut short. The world is a colder and darker place without this warm smile and the happy energy with which he lived his life. The hole that has been left in the hearts of all who knew him will never be filled. No amount of time can heal the wounds that have been inflicted.’
Both Williamson and the youth were convicted of a further charge of perverting the course of justice – an offence Cole had admitted before trial.
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 father Ben Mwangi.
After Williamson gave birth to Cole’s own child, Cole was reluctant to let Logan see the baby and later claimed the boy had tried to smother the infant.
Medics made a safeguarding referral to the police after Logan suffered a broken arm in August 2020.
By March, due to concerns over Cole, Logan and his younger sibling had been assigned their own social worker.
On July 20, Logan tested positive for Covid-19 and he was shut in his bedroom with a baby gate barring 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.’
A foster family the youth stayed with claimed to have heard him say he wanted to kill Logan.
A support worker also heard the youth singing: ‘I love kids, I f****** love kids, I love to punch kids in the head, it’s orgasmic.’
Weeks before he died, Logan suffered a broken collarbone but medical treatment was never sought for him.
The 14-year-old boy, who looked disinterested as he tucked into bars of chocolate as he watched the murder trial, had threatened to kill his foster family after watching The Purge and asked girls to play a murder game where he would put their bodies in black bags.
‘Even the dog was afraid of him’ after he attacked the family pet by pulling it up by its back legs following an operation and allegedly spraying deodorant into its eyes, the court heard.
Cole was caught on CCTV carrying Logan’s limp body from the flat across a playing field towards the river where he was found by police shortly after dawn on July 31.
His mother was caught on camera feigning crocodile tears and ignorance after killing him.
Experts said the injuries could have only been caused by a ‘brutal and sustained assault’ inflicted on Logan in the hours, or days, prior to his death.
They also said the injuries were ‘consistent with child abuse’.
Cole claimed he woke to the sound of Williamson screaming Logan was dead and he panicked.
CCTV shows a bedroom light being switched on and off while Cole and the youth were out – the prosecution used this evidence to show Williamson was awake and aware Logan was dead.
Cole said after dumping the boy’s body, Williamson sent him out again to hide his ripped pyjama top.
The youth never gave evidence in the trial.
Floral tributes and teddy bears were left near where Logan’s body was found, with one message reading ‘RIP angel’
An aerial photo showing the spot where Logan’s body was discovered in the River Ogmore (circled, along with the house)
The five-year-old boy had also been ‘kept like a prisoner’ in his small bedroom – likened by his mother to a ‘dungeon’ – with a baby gate barring him from leaving after he tested positive for coronavirus on July 20
Today, Logan’s school issued a poignant and powerful tribute to a ‘friendly, energetic, and popular little boy’.
The statement said: ‘The pupils, teachers, staff and governors at Tondu Primary School were all devastated to learn of the death of Logan Mwangi and the school community remains shocked and deeply saddened by his loss.
‘As a friendly, energetic, and popular little boy Logan leaves us with many fond memories. He was a loving, sweet-natured child who was polite and articulate at all times.
‘Logan was always smiling and was described in court by his own teachers as having the kind of smile that could light up a classroom. He was a highly inquisitive child who enjoyed his lessons, particularly when using the outdoor classroom where he would have great fun with his friends.
‘Logan loved playing with his classmates, especially games like hide-and-seek or pretending to be superheroes. His favourite character was always Spiderman and he would display a keen and vivid imagination in his games.
‘Ultimately we remember Logan as being a bright, happy child who was caring and loving and an absolute pleasure to teach. As a school community we continue to feel his loss and to offer support to one another as we look towards the future.
We are also united in our condemnation of the terrible actions of those who ended Logan’s short life in such a cruel and brutal way and are grateful that they have been held accountable for their crimes.. Our thoughts remain with Logan.’
Just like Star Hobson and Little Arthur, Logan became ANOTHER child failed by the system: Social workers and police took NO action when five-year-old burned his neck on a hot tap and broke his arm – despite knowing his about his violent stepfather’s past
By Henry Martin for MailOnline
Logan Mwangi never stood a chance as he was kept prisoner and tortured in his home, with social workers missing crucial opportunities to save the little boy before he was murdered by his mother, stepfather and a 14-year-old boy.
The boy’s killing has chilling echoes of the tragic deaths of 16-month-old Star Hobson, six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and two-year-old Kyrell Matthews.
All three children were murdered after suffering months of systematic abuse at the hands of their wicked parents and repeatedly let down by agencies which missed chances to intervene.
Both Arthur and Logan were put in greater danger when the country was put into lockdown.
In the months and weeks leading up to his death, Logan had been ‘dehumanised’ by his family. His stammer worsened, becoming particularly bad around Cole, and he wet himself more frequently and began self-harming.
But in yet another astonishing failing by social services, workers missed at least two opportunities to rescue the schoolboy from the clutches of his parents, who ‘kept him prisoner’ in his dark bedroom – likened to a ‘dungeon’ – with a baby gate barring him from leaving after testing positive for coronavirus on July 20.
Britain’s betrayed children: Logan Mwangi, Star Hobson, and Arthur Labinjo-Hughes. All three suffered horrific abuse
TIMELINE: THE LOGAN MWANGI MURDER
2016 – March 15: Logan 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: 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.
2020 –August 16: 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. Williamson admits covering up and lying to police about this.
2021 – January 21: 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.
May: Social services took no action when Logan burned his neck on a hot bath tap. Their investigation relied on photographs of the tap and Logan’s injuries.
June: 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: 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: Logan tests positive for Covid-19 and has to self-isolate.
July 29: 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: 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: 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.
August 2: The boy is named as ‘funny and polite’ Logan Williamson. South Wales Police question three suspects.
August 5: Logan’s stepfather John Cole is charged with murder as the boy’s mother Angharad Williamson and a 13-year-old boy are jointly charged with perverting the course of justice – along with Cole.
August 7: Hundreds of well-wishers release red balloons into the sky at a vigil next to the river bank where Logan was found dead.
September 1: Inquest into Logan’s death hears that the five-year-old could have suffered a ‘violent or unnatural death’.
October 21: Logan’s mother is charged with murder along with the teenager, now 14.
2022 – February 4: Angharad Williamson denies murder and causing or allowing the death of a child at Cardiff Crown Court. She has previously pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice. John also appeared in court and denied causing or allowing the death of a child. He had already pleaded not guilty to murder and guilty to perverting the course of justice. The 14-year-old boy had earlier denied murder and perverting the course of justice.
February 14: The three defendants appear in court to stand trial for the alleged murder of Logan.
February 21: The court hears that Logan suffered 56 catastrophic injuries to his body after he was allegedly beaten to death by his mother, stepfather and a ‘violent’ 14-year-old boy. Jurors were told that the little boy was murdered after he caught Covid, before Williamson and Cole dumped his body in a river as if they were ‘fly-tipping’ rubbish. The trio were said to have covered-up the horrific crime in an ‘elaborate charade’ by claiming Logan had gone missing or been kidnapped while in isolation.
April 21: Three defendants are convicted of Logan’s murder at Cardiff Crown Court.
Social workers visited Logan’s house the day before he died and took no action in May 2021 when the boy burned his neck on a hot bath tap. Their investigation relied on photographs of the tap and Logan’s injuries.
Social services had also been aware that the boy’s stepfather Cole had a criminal record for assault, burglary, possessing cannabis, resisting a police officer, blackmail and perverting the course of justice.
And police failed to take action a year earlier, when the five-year-old broke his arm. It emerged he had been pushed down the stairs by the 14-year-old who later took part in killing him.
Cole, who stood at 6ft4ins tall and weighed 15 stone, would tower over the 3ft 5ins, 3st Logan and use army-style punishments on him, forcing the child to do press-ups until he was in tears and collapse on the floor. Logan was also made to stand outside the house in just his pyjamas, neighbours said.
He held ‘long standing racist beliefs’ which could have been ‘relevant to his motives’ in the attacks on Logan, and he even stopped him from seeing his real father and grandmother, the court 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 Williamson had cheated with Logan’s father Benjamin Mwangi.
Medics made a safeguarding referral to the police after Logan suffered a broken arm in August 2020, with Williamson saying he had fallen down the stairs.
She took him to hospital the day after the incident and said she thought he had only dislocated his shoulder and had tried to put it back.
Later she told a friend the youth had confessed to pushing Logan down the stairs but it was not until January last year she told the police.
By March, due to concerns over Cole, Logan and his younger sibling had been assigned their own social worker, Gaynor Rush.
In June, a month before Logan died, the family were removed from the child protection register – meaning it was believed there was no longer a risk of significant harm.
A foster family the youth stayed with claimed to have heard him say he wanted to kill Logan.
They said they reported the teen’s ‘desire for violence’ and threats to harm Logan to his social worker Debbie Williams but that she seemed unconcerned. Ms Williams denies this.
A support worker also heard the youth, singing: ‘I love kids, I f****** love kids, I love to punch kids in the head, it’s orgasmic.’
Weeks before he died, Logan suffered a broken collarbone but he never got medical treatment.
On July 20 Logan tested positive for Covid-19 and he was shut in his bedroom with a baby gate barring him from leaving.
Ms Rees 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.’
Williamson claimed that two days before Logan’s body was found an argument about a spilt drink escalated and ended with Cole and the youth attacking him.
She accused Cole of punching Logan twice in the stomach and ordering the youth to ‘sweep’ Logan if he stuttered or flinched.
Moments later the youth carried out the martial arts-style manoeuvre, kicking his legs out from under him while using his hand to slam his head to the ground.
Williamson said she screamed for them to stop but said Cole replied: ‘The only way this boy understands is pain.’
Two days later, she phoned the police at 5.45am reporting Logan missing – claiming to have awoken to find him gone and accusing a woman of taking him.
Police arrived at the flat to find Williamson hysterical, while Cole and the youth could be seen walking around the area calling for him.
Footage shows Williamson screaming at Cole ‘Why am I not allowed to see my own biological son?’
While pacing her kitchen, she yells: ‘He is unconscious, why is he unconscious?’
Gesturing towards police officers before falling to the ground, she continues: ‘All I’m getting is answers like this.
‘Why is no one telling me what’s going on? He’s my baby, what’s going on?’
She is later seen stood on her doorstep, saying: ‘If he is unconscious he needs me.
‘He needs warm clothes. He needs mum. I feel so useless. This is all my fault.’
Pictured: Angharad Williamson (left) and John Cole (right) pictured in court sketches
The children failed by the system: How social services missed multiple opportunities to save horrifically abused children
Star Hobson, murdered September 22, 2020
Star Hobson was only 16 months old when she was killed at her home in Keighley, West Yorkshire.
Star was murdered by her mother Frankie Smith’s girlfriend Savannah Brockhill after suffering months of abuse in her home during the Covid lockdown last year. Frankie Smith 20, was handed an eight-year sentence for allowing her daughter’s death. This was extended to 12 years in March for being too lenient.
Brockhill, 28, was convicted of murder and jailed for life with a minimum term of 25 years. No appeal was made against her sentence. It was revealed that social services had missed five opportunities to stop her killers in the months before her death on September 22, 2020.
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, murdered June 16, 2020
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, aged six, was murdered by his cruel stepmother Emma Tustin in June. She was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 29 years and the boy’s father Thomas Hughes was jailed for 21 years for manslaughter.
The boy had been seen by social workers just two months before his death, but they concluded there were no safeguarding concerns. In October 2019, Aileen Carabine, a special educational coordinator at Arthur’s school, said Arthur ‘deteriorated’ that month.
Kyrell Matthews, murdered October 20, 2019
Kyrell Matthews, aged two, was left with 41 rib fractures and internal injuries by the time of his death after weeks of cruelty at the hands of his mother Phylesia Shirley and her boyfriend Kemar Brown. Brown was convicted of murder while Shirley was acquitted of murder but found guilty of the alternative charge of manslaughter. They appeared alongside each other in the dock as Brown was sentenced to at least 25 years in prison while Shirley was jailed for 13 years.
The toddler, who was non-verbal, could be heard crying and screaming on distressing audio files taken from Shirley’s phone and played to jurors during the trial. Brown and Shirley are understood to have been visited by social services at least once.
Prosecutors said this was part of an ‘elaborate’ cover-up concocted by the defendants and all three were accused of perverting the course of justice, of which Williamson and youth were convicted.
Councillor Huw David, leader of Bridgend County Borough Council, said: ‘The death of five-year-old Logan Mwangi has been a deeply sad and tragic affair which has affected all who live within Bridgend County Borough.
‘We are also united in our condemnation of the terrible actions of those who ended Logan’s short life in such a cruel and brutal way, and the great lengths they went to in trying to hide the evidence of what they did from the authorities.
‘Throughout the trial of his murderers, Logan was consistently described as being a loving, kind and caring little boy, one who was polite and popular among his friends and fellow pupils.
‘Listening to the tributes from Logan’s dad and his school, he was clearly a boy who brought joy and laughter to the lives of those he met, and it is hard to find adequate words for expressing just how devastating it is that such an awful murder could have happened in our county borough.’
Council chief executive Mark Shephard added: ‘Now that the trial has concluded, Cwm Taf Morgannwg Regional Safeguarding Board is leading on the commissioning of a child practice review to enable relevant agencies to fully assess and consider their roles, and to determine whether any improvements can be made to further strengthen the overall standard of local services.
‘We are awaiting the review’s findings, and together with our partners we will implement any recommendations that it may contain to ensure that we can provide the best, most effective services possible for the local community.’
Tracey Holdsworth, assistant director of the NSPCC Cymru, said: ‘What happened to Logan should never be forgotten, and it should make us even more determined in our efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect from happening.
‘It is vital that the child safeguarding practice review leaves no stone unturned in establishing exactly what took place before Logan died and whether more could have been done to protect him by the agencies involved with his family.
‘We need investment in children’s services in Wales to provide comprehensive support to any child at risk of harm and to be better equipped to prevent a tragedy such as this happening again.’
In a statement, the Cwm Taf Morgannwg Safeguarding Board said a child practice review would be held into Logan’s death.
‘This child practice review aims to examine agencies’ involvement with Logan and his family to identify what lessons can be learnt for the future,’ a spokeswoman said.
‘As part of the child practice review process, a multi-agency learning event, attended by practitioners who had direct involvement with Logan and his family will be held so that agencies can share their understanding of what happened and identify key learning points.
‘The panel has also identified opportunities to engage with the family of Logan, to support with this learning, so that the child is central to the whole process.
‘A report is due to be presented to the regional safeguarding board in the autumn 2022, before being submitted to the Welsh Government for final endorsement and publication.’
Revealed: Bodybuilding 6ft4 racist stepfather who murdered Logan Mwangi was a National Front member who bullied the five-year-old, calling him ‘Coco-pop’ and forcing him to eat Weetabix as family scoffed KFC
By Tom Bedford and Henry Martin for MailOnline
Logan Mwangi’s stepfather John Cole is a former National Front member who nicknamed the five-year-old ‘Coco Pop’ and made him eat Weetabix while the rest of the family feasted on a KFC.
Cole had claimed ‘Coco Pop’ was a term of affection but he had a history of meeting up with racist groups, and soon after meeting partner Angharad Williamson he told a friend during a gym session: ‘I don’t like Logan.’
His girlfriend from 20 years ago Anna Powell described him as ‘racist and homophobic’, a preliminary hearing was told.
Six-foot four-inch Cole had claimed he was in the Special Forces in the military but there is no record of him ever being a regular in the British Army.
Shame: Cole hides his face as he arrives at Cardiff Crown Court
Court artist sketch of John Cole giving evidence at Cardiff Crown Court
But the bullying stepfather would use army-style punishments to discipline five-year-old Logan when he was naughty.
Teenager killer tucked into bars of chocolate as he watched murder trial on a video link
A cruel teenager found guilty of murdering five-year-old Logan Mwangi tucked into bars of chocolate as he watched the murder trial on a live video link.
The boy, 14, who can’t be named for legal reasons, looked disinterested as his part in the murder was told to the jury during the nine-week trial.
The boy, 13 at the time of the murder last July, was in foster care in the weeks leading up to Logan’s murder.
His foster parents were told he would be extremely challenging because of his autism and ADHD.
They found they couldn’t cope with his threatening and abusive behaviour and asked Bridgend Social services to remove him from their home.
The foster dad said: ‘I recall saying to myself that he was going to do something bad but I didn’t think it would be murder or that it would happen so soon.
‘We have been fostering for the best part of 50 years, it was the only time I felt scared for my family.’
The foster family claim they heard the boy say he wanted to kill Logan but this was denied by social workers.
The boy picked on other children in the foster home and was cruel to the family’s dog, picking it up by the back legs days after it had undergone surgery for a fractured pelvis.
The trial at Cardiff Crown Court heard he also sprayed deodorant into the eyes of a neighbour’s dog.
The teenager was regularly sent home from a local comprehensive school and spent all his time playing adult-rated games on his X-box.
He was playing Call of Duty when police arrived at the family home hours after Logan was found in the River Ogmore at Bridgend.
Pc Brian Cooper was with the boy, 13 at the time, in the family home on the morning Logan was found dead in a nearby river.
He said: ‘He was fully immersed in the game using the maps and weapons really well.
‘He said when he played with his friends he usually takes the lead.’
When he was shot playing the game the teenager said: ‘You’re f***ing adopted’ and made other inappropriate comments, the court was told.
Pc Cooper told the jury he had the impression the boy was experienced at Call of Duty which has an over-18 certificate and said Cole made no objection to the ‘quick outburst’.
After his arrest a support worker heard him say: ‘I love kids. I f***ing love kids. I love to punch kids in the head.
The boy had a green belt in karate and an interest in boxing – he loved to shadow box people throwing punches and missing them by inches.
The jury decided the teenager didn’t hold back when Logan was attacked two days before he was found dead in the River Ogmore close to the family home.
He has now been jailed for life as one of Britain’s youngest ever killers.
The ‘polite and chatty’ schoolboy was made to do press-ups until he was in tears and would collapse on the floor.
Cole also make him eat Weetabix while the rest of the family tucked into a KFC, smacking his lips and telling the little boy how good the takeaway tasted.
The prosecution argued that the term Coco Pop was ‘dehumanising and disrespectful’ towards mixed race Logan and evidence of Cole’s ‘long-standing, firmly held racist beliefs’.
It was put forward as a motive why Cole killed the ‘polite and chatty’ schoolboy on July 31 last year but the judge in the trial ruled it was inadmissible in the trial.
But the preliminary hearing, which can now be reported, was told Cole’s ex-girlfriends Miss Powell and Lauren Acton both claimed he was violent towards them ‘in a domestic setting’.
Cole – known to everyone as Jay – had assaulted Williamson while her friend Jodie Simmons was in another room at the family’s flat in Bridgend.
Ms Simmons said she heard a scream and went into the sitting room where Cole said he’d pushed her.
But Williamson said he’d strangled her and Simmons could see red marks around her neck.
Cole, who was born in the Midlands, met Angharad Williamson in a local pub and the pair set up home in a nearby rented two-bedroomed flat where they had a loud and stormy relationship.
Neighbours would say ‘Baldy’s kicking off again’ when they heard Cole shouting at Williamson or Logan.
The ground-floor flat is just a three-minute walk to the river where Cole dumped Logan’s body like ‘fly-tipping rubbish’ at 2am on July 31 last year.
Giving evidence to the murder trial about the tragic events of that night, Cole said he was woken at 2am by Williamson screaming: ‘Logan’s dead’.
He claimed he spent 10 to 15 minutes performing CPR before putting him in a Spiderman T-shirt and carrying him out of the flat.
Cole told the jury: ‘We were panicking and didn’t know what to do. We mentioned phoning the police and ambulance but Logan was already dead.’
‘Angharad said to me: ”What do we do? What do we do?” I said: ”What do you want me to do?” We went backwards and forwards for a good five minutes or so.’
Asked why he didn’t call for an ambulance Cole replied: ‘Shock, panic. The situation didn’t make sense and I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t thinking properly, Logan was deceased, he was already dead.
‘I believe Angharad said to me: ”Just get him out of here”.’
Cole denied causing the brutal head injuries that led to his stepson’s death but admitted clipping him around the head for misbehaving while the five-year-old was in lockdown because of Covid.
Controlling Cole banned Williamson’s mother Clare Williamson from visiting their flat after they ‘clashed heads’.
She told the trial: ‘Jay more and more came between me and Angharad and he put his foot down. That put an end to our relationship.’
Cole lied to a friend that he had a 99-year suspended sentence hanging over him in an attempt to show he was not to be messed with.
But he does have convictions for assault, burglary, blackmail, intimidation and resisting a police officer.
Neighbours said he lived off benefits and spent most of his days playing computer games in the flat.
One local said: ‘People found him overbearing, he’s a tall bloke and uses his height to intimidate people. It’s a mind power thing, he’s not a hard nut or anything.
‘He was not someone you’d invite around for a cup of tea and a lot of people around here would cross the road if they saw him coming.’
Body language of the killer mothers: Experts reveal how cold and calculating Emma Tustin and Angharad Williamson feign ignorance, barely flinch and ‘put on a performance’ as they lie to police after beating their children to death
By Laurence Dollimore for MailOnline
Britain’s killer mothers are among the most reviled of criminals. Cold, calculating and cruel, their heinous crimes betray everything it means to be the maternal parent.
And Angharad Williamson, 31, is no exception. She is among of a handful of warped mothers whose crimes have broken hearts across the country over the past year, all with their own twisted tales of abuse, neglect and ultimately, death.
Their unspeakable acts sparked outrage among the British public, made worse by the crocodile tears they employed in front of the authorities in a desperate bid to get away with murder.
In December last year, Emma Tustin, 32, was convicted of killing her stepson Arthur Labinjo-Hughes by repeatedly slamming his head on a hard surface after she and 29-year-old Thomas Hughes – the boy’s father – inflicted a campaign of cruelty on the youngster, including starving him and poisoning him with salt.
Angharad Williamson, 31, hysterically wailed (pictured above) while pretending to be unaware of what happened to five-year-old Logan Mwangi in Bridgend, Wales, last July
Foster parents of teenager, 14, who murdered Logan Mwangi ‘lived in fear’ and warned social services about the ‘monster’ after he tortured dog and played ‘murder games’
The foster parents of the teenager who murdered five-year-old Logan Mwangi have told how they lived in fear while the ‘little monster’ was in their care.
The elderly couple, who have taken 80 children into their semi-detached home in South Wales, said the teenager was ‘far and away’ the worst, as he sought out ‘weaker and more vulnerable’ children to victimise.
They said the teen was murder obsessed and had a ‘cruel streak’ which saw him stamp on one girl’s toes after she had had an operation on her feet, before pulling up the neighbour’s dogs’ legs following surgery and spraying deodorant in its eyes.
They also warned social services that he said he wanted to kill Logan just weeks before murdering the five-year-old. He also took two younger girls to a park to play a game he invented called murders.
The boy was found guilty of murder yesterday alongside Logan’s mother Angharad Williamson, 31, and his stepfather John Cole, 40. The trio abused and killed the five-year-old before dumping his body in the River Ogmore, near their home in Pandy Park, on July 31 last year.
Speaking after his conviction, the teenage killer’s former foster carers said he would run around singing ‘kill the Jews’, which social services allegedly shrugged off as ‘banter’. The foster father said: ‘It is the first time I’ve ever been worried about my own family – we are foster carers not psychiatrists.’
It was the only time in their 50 years of fostering that the couple have called social services to say they could not cope with a child’s behaviour. The foster dad added: ‘We were frightened in our own home, we didn’t feel safe. I wanted him moved.
‘I told social services: ‘I want him out of here’ but the social worker turned it around on us saying we needed more training. I was angry, we’ve been looking after children for all these years. We know what we are doing.’
The youth, 13 at the time, made a death threat against Logan while he was fostered with the couple for eight weeks. The boy’s foster dad said: ‘He was always on about killing people – then he said he wanted to kill another boy.
‘I told social services – that should have rang alarm bells.’
In both cases, the women were caught on police body cameras as they tried to cover up their murderous deeds, but to the trained expert eye, their body language provided clues of their guilt.
Williamson attempted an Oscar-worthy display of hysterics after calling police to her home to report her son missing last summer, before being told he had been found unconscious.
Police bodycam footage shows her screaming at her lover Cole: ‘Why am I not allowed to see my own biological son?’
While in her kitchen, she yells: ‘He is unconscious, why is he unconscious?’ Gesturing towards police officers before falling to the ground, she continues: ‘All I’m getting is answers like this.
‘Why is no one telling me what’s going on? He’s my baby, what’s going on?’
She is later seen stood on her doorstep, saying: ‘If he is unconscious he needs me. He needs warm clothes. He needs mum. I feel so useless. This is all my fault.’
Body language expert Dr Cliff Lansley told MailOnline how her behaviour suggests she was ‘performing’ rather than ‘reacting’.
He revealed: ‘Williamson is wailing during the video clip from the doorstep, yet her facial muscles show no reliable signs of sadness.
‘When we are feeling sadness our inner brows raise and the lip corners turn downwards – we see none of that here.
‘We do, however, see her lip corners stretch back horizontally towards her ears a couple of times.
‘The muscles that create this movement, the risorius muscles, are activated when we are fearful.
‘This could be associated with her being told that Logan has been found unconscious, when she thought (or knew) that he was dead when her partner dumped his body in the early hours that morning.
‘During this performance on the doorstep we also hear a steady voice with sobs on the out-breath. This isn’t characteristic of genuine sadness where the voice tone is often broken and we usually hear the sobs on the in-breath.
‘Such a performance is seen on perpetrators who are faking sadness to deflect suspicion away from themselves. There are some linguistic anomalies too.
”’Why am I not allowed to see my own biological son?” This is a strange phrase, adding the word ”biological” instead of just saying ”my son”. This suggests she is trying to convince the Police that she has a closer relationship with her son, Logan, than she actually has.
‘We also hear her say, ”this is all my fault”. This appears to be the truth, known as a ”Freudian slip”. It could be a leaked confession.’
In the Tustin case, police body-worn footage showed the killer stepmother telling PC Louise Williams that Arthur ‘f***ing hates me’ while paramedics treated the boy.
Explaining his injuries, Tustin said: ‘Arthur was told to sit on the thinking step. He’s thrown himself on the floor and banged himself on the radiator.
‘He’s kicked me in the process of trying to get him back on the thinking step.
‘He’s then gone on all fours on the floor and I’ve told him to get up. I’ve shut the door, all I heard was a crack.
‘He was headbutting, on all fours, the floorboards. At that point he was fine.’
Cole was convicted of killing Logan by a jury of five men and seven women after five hours of deliberation
Tustin added: ‘I put my arms underneath him to pick him up and he dropped and he banged his head three times on the floor. As I picked him up he hit me as I tried to get him up.’
Tustin, speaking at a rapid pace, told the officer that Arthur had been ‘lashing out’ and ‘we’ve had s*** off him for six months’.
She said: ‘Like I said, the last six months he’s battered both my kids, he’s smashed the house to pieces. He’s battered his dad, he hit me.
‘Yesterday, we went to my friend’s house. He pushed me down five stairs, saying ‘you’re not my real mum, I’m going to kill you’. I’m going to get my mum to kill you.’
Moment mother whined ‘but I haven’t done anything wrong’ as she was arrested for murdering Logan Mwangi
Logan Mwangi’s evil mother screeched ‘I haven’t done anything wrong’ when she was arrested, police footage revealed – as it emerged she starred in a homemade slasher movie finding the body of a dead child years before killing her own son.
The short clip, taken by an officer’s bodycam in Bridgend, South Wales last summer, shows Angharad Williamson, 31, clinging onto a stair bannister as she loudly protests her innocence.
Her accomplice and lover John Cole, 40, can be seen feigning disbelief, knowing full well he had helped murder the five-year-old before dumping his body in a nearby river.
It comes after video emerged of teenage wannabe filmmaker Williamson finding a ‘dead’ family member on a sofa and then screaming in terror for an amateur horror flick for an A-level project while studying a media course in Essex.
Williamson, slimmer and with below-the shoulder brown hair, has several lines in the two-minute film speaking in her distinctive Essex accent.
The amateur footage has chilling echoes of her screams down the phone to police when she reported Logan missing.
Hours after the murder, Williamson, called 999 and cried hysterically down the phone as she ‘acted out the part of a distressed mother whose child has gone missing’ to hide her knowledge of Logan’s disappearance.
That call was described by prosecutor Caroline Rees QC as ‘a callous performance designed to cover up her involvement in her son’s death’.
She then added: ‘Done my best for that kid, he f***ing hates me. I couldn’t get him off the floor.’
When spoken to by the same West Midlands Police officer, the boy’s father Hughes told how he had returned from the supermarket to find his son unresponsive. He claimed Arthur had been on ‘hunger strike’.
She said: ‘We’ve experienced a few problems with behaviour. He’s been lashing out and spitting his food out. He’s gone on hunger strike.
‘He’s turned around and said he wants to drink water all the time. We’ve said unless you eat you’re not going to get a full drink.
‘Then he’s been hitting people, it’s been going on for six months. We thought it was a stage.’
Dr Keri Nixon, a Consultant Forensic Psychologist, said both Williamson and Tustin committed ‘despicable’ acts against the children under their care, but she views their behaviour very differently.
She told MailOnline: ‘In Arthur’s case, his stepmother appears to be the protagonist and in control, she is the one leading the action.
‘In the bodycam footage, she does not flinch as she gives a completely false account of what happened to Arthur.
‘She is so, so cold. He is lying dead and she is able to calmly lie to police. Meanwhile his father appears a weaker figure in the background with his head down.
‘It’s clear that she had planned this, she knew what she was going to say. There is no sign of remorse, and to blame Arthur saying he was hitting his own head against the floor is just so horrific. She even offers to show the police where Arthur was banging his head without a shred of emotion.
‘But she was very calculated and was really selling her story. She hoped to get away with it.’
Dr Keri said Logan’s case was more shocking because Williamson was his actual mother.
She added: ‘She was supposed to love him but she completely failed to protect him.
‘But what is different in this case is that Williamson does not appear to be the one pulling the strings.
‘It’s clear that her partner John was the main abuser and was the one in control. But she still let it happen and was an enabler, and there is no excuse for what she did.
‘She was in a relationship with a man who had a violent past, had been violent to a child and was racist and seemed to hate Logan for his similar appearance to his Kenyan father.
‘Thus, she failed in her role to safeguard her child and placed him at risk, also engaging in the abuse herself.
‘Research into similar cases has identified a pattern; in a lot of these cases, there is a violent man behind the scenes who starts and controls the abuse.
‘While she is culpable and she was there for the abuse, and there is no excuse for her, in cases like these I often wonder if her son would have died if the male partner had not come onto the scene. However, it was her role to protect her son and she utterly failed in that role.’
Karen Matthews led from Dewsbury police station before a court appearance over her daughter Shannon’s ‘kidnap’
Dr Keri said Williamson takes a much different approach to Arthur’s stepmum Tustin when she is interacting with police in body cam footage.
She explains: ‘Williamson is playing the role of a hysterical mother, because that is what she thinks police would expect her to behave like.
‘Listening to the initial 999 police call it is disturbing how she is able to lie stating her son has ‘disappeared’ when she knows what they have done to his lifeless body.
‘She continues to ask questions and demands they tell her what has happened, as if continually stating she doesn’t know what has happened to him, when the exact opposite is true.
‘Like Tustin, she is saying things that she knows are completely wrong and it’s chilling to hear her say that Logan needs his warm clothes, when she knew he was lying dead in the river. She was trying to appear like a caring mother.
‘I think the footage shows a tiny flicker of real emotion, almost a shock of realisation of what she’s done.
‘However, she acts in a very dramatic way and moves away from the officers still demanding to know what has happened.
‘She also uses phrases like ‘he’s my biological son’, ‘he’s my baby’ as if she is almost trying to convince those around her and herself that she couldn’t do harm to him.
‘It is also interesting that there is no change from the 999 call to the body cam footage from the attending officers; she continued to say the same things and act in the same manner.
‘You can see that she does not want to look directly at the police officers, the opposite of the cool and calculating Tustin.
‘There could be a tiny flicker of regret, but how much of that is for herself and how much is shame for what she’s done we cannot know.’
While by no means a killer, Karen Matthews shot to infamy when she faked her daughter Shannon’s disappearance, earning her the title of ‘Britain’s Most Hated Mum’.
Emma Tustin (pictured), 32, admitted segregating Arthur Labinjo-Hughes for up to 14 hours a day for seven days a week in a hallway in their home near Solihull, West Midlands
She too, lied through her teeth, leading cops on a wild goose chase in what became the biggest missing persons search West Yorkshire police had ever launched.
All the while, she knew full well that her daughter, nine, was hidden in the base of a divan bed at a house occupied by Michael Donovan in Batley Carr.
Police looked for the girl for a staggering 24 weeks, costing the authorities almost £3.2million, while egomaniac Matthews appeared on TV and newspaper front pages begging for her to be returned home.
But her motives for lying were different to those of killers Emma Tustin and Angharad Williamson – who respectively murdered their own stepson and son.
Comparing Williamson and Matthews, body language expert Dr Cliff Lansley told MailOnline: ‘The only similarity between them is the fake sadness that Karen Matthews showed when she made an appeal outside her home.’
He added: ‘But they are in a completely different context.
‘Ms Matthews behaved the way she did for personal gain, she was exhibiting ‘duping delight’. She was getting a kick from the charade.’