A schoolboy described as “pure evil” murdered his five-year-old stepbrother just five days after being allowed to move into his home by social services despite making repeated threats against him.
Craig Mulligan – who can be named after a judge lifted an anonymity order – was 13 when he, along with Logan Mwangi’s stepfather John Cole, 40, and mother Angharad Williamson, 31, killed the youngster and dumped his body in a river near their home in Bridgend, South Wales.
Cole and Williamson were jailed for life, while Mulligan was told he would be detained for a minimum of 15 years.
The teenager, who was not related by blood to Cole, idolised him and was allowed to move in with the family despite a foster family describing him as “pure evil” and begging social workers to take him away because they were unable to cope.
The foster family warned the authorities that Mulligan had issued threats to kill Logan, who was already on the at risk register.
He moved into the family home in Sarn, Bridgend, in July 2021 and five days later murdered his five-year-old stepbrother, who suffered 56 external cuts and bruises and “catastrophic” internal injuries likened to a high speed road accident.
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”.
Judge Mrs Justice Jefford said it was of “significant public interest” to know why Mulligan had been placed into the family home five days before the murder.
The court heard how the powerfully-built teenager had previously attacked Logan, pushing him down the stairs, but concerns expressed to social workers were dismissed as “nonsense”.
The trial heard how Mulligan’s previous foster parents, the Finch family, had been looking after children for more than 40 years but were unable to cope with him.
Clive Finch described being “terrified” of the teenager and fearing for the safety of his family. His daughter said she heard Mulligan make repeated threats to kill Logan while living with them, including days before he was allowed to move into the five-year-old’s home.
The jury also heard how he had sprayed deodorant into the eyes of the family dog and pulled it up by its back legs after it had an operation on its pelvis.
In evidence not heard by the jury, the Finch family described Mulligan as “pure evil”, but the judge ruled that the comment could not be said during the trial.
Mulligan was under the care of Bridgend Council Social Services after being removed from the home of his birth mother, Rebecca Trudgill, who had previously assaulted him.
In the months before Logan’s murder, Mulligan was described as a “monster” by the Finch family who said he had a “desire for violence”.
He demanded that he be allowed to enrol in Thai boxing classes and would also go to a body building gym. The court heard he was given a baseball bat and ball to take part in the sport but instead used the bat to smash up trees and signs in the local park.
Prosecutor Caroline Rees said the timing of Mulligan’s move to the house on July 26 and Logan’s death five days later “was not a coincidence”.
She said: “He was jealous of Logan and did not like him. His feelings of hostility towards Logan were such that whilst in foster care prior to his move back to the other defendant’s home he made repeated threats that he wanted to kill Logan and wanted him dead.”
During one alleged incident in the home, Mulligan is said to have “swept” Logan’s legs from under him while using his hand to slam his head into the ground.
He had done so, according to Williamson, on the orders of Cole, who had just punched Logan, causing him to fall backwards onto the ground.
Just before 3am on Saturday, July 31, 2021, Mulligan was captured on CCTV cameras following Cole out of the flat and down to the river where they dumped Logan’s body. He also joined in carrying out a fake search for Logan as part of the family’s cover-up.
Mulligan was arrested at around 6.30pm on Aug 1, along with Williamson, inside Cole’s property.
During the trial an anonymity order was placed on Mulligan, preventing the reporting of any detail that might identify him.
Following his conviction and imprisonment for murder and perverting the course of justice, the press successfully applied to have the restriction removed on grounds of public interest and open justice.
In the months and weeks leading up to his death, Logan had been “dehumanised” by his family, prosecutors said. His stammer was said to have worsened, becoming particularly bad around Cole. He wet himself more frequently and began self-harming.
Weeks before he died, Logan suffered a broken collarbone but he did not get medical treatment. On July 20, he tested positive for Covid and was shut in his bedroom, with a baby gate barring him from leaving.
Logan, a previously “smiling, cheerful little boy”, was discovered in the River Ogmore in Pandy Park on the morning of July 31 last year. Police found him, partially submerged and wearing dinosaur pyjama bottoms and a Spider-Man top, just 250 metres from his home.
Passing sentence, Mrs Justice Jefford said: “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, he was subjected to a brutal attack. Inflicting these injuries on a small, defenceless five-year-old is nothing short of horrific.”