Almost a year before Logan Mwangi’s death, 31 photographs of injuries were taken, the review said, during a health assessment.
Authorities did not hear the voice of murdered five-year-old Logan Mwangi during his short life, and found a review detailing the severe injuries he sustained. The report identified what it believed were “systemic” issues with child protection, including failure to report injuries he sustained months before his death.
Cwm Taf Morgannwg’s Protection Board Children’s Practice Review, published on Thursday, made a series of recommendations for agencies involved with Logan and his family before his death.
The report made 10 local and five national recommendations after Logan’s death.
This includes urging Cwm Taf Morgannwg to commission an independent review of its practices and management to identify and investigate non-accidental injuries in children.
Nationwide, it is suggested that the Welsh Government consider a review of the approach to child protection conferences to help identify best practice, as well as possibly launching an annual national awareness campaign to raise public awareness of how to report protection concerns.
What did the review say about child protection?
The report detailed how Cole was a former member of the Nationalront, and that he would subject Logan – his father is of British and Kenyan descent – to racially derogatory remarks.
Cole had previously had convictions including assault of a child, possession of an offensive weapon, robbery and illegal drug possession, and served a prison sentence for burglary.
In August 2020, Logan attended his local accident and emergency unit with an injured arm, bruises on his right cheek, and a broken arm.
A child protection referral was made, which raised concerns regarding the delay in bringing Williamson Logan to hospital for medical attention.
However, social services and the police “agreed that the threshold for conducting child protection investigations had not been met at that point, on the basis that medical information was limited,” the report says.
The police checked Cole’s convictions and it was “agreed at the time that he was just not the right person to look after Logan or Mulligan”. Officers attended the hospital as well as the family’s home, where they were told Logan’s injuries were caused by a fall from the stairs.
The report found that the injuries noted by health practitioners in Logan, referred to in the report as “Baby T”, had not been shared with services that could have taken appropriate measures to protect him.
The review also highlighted how the Covid-19 pandemic has limited family contact with agencies and impacted the ability to provide “optimal child protection operations”.
“As a result of this extensive review of the child’s practice, core learning has been identified,” the report stated. “The Review Committee believes that these issues may be systemic rather than isolated cases of individual error or malpractice.”
The review stated that areas “significantly affected by the impact of the pandemic” included professional distrust challenging the Logans’ potential use of Covid 19 fears and symptoms as a barrier to engaging with services.
She said government restrictions meant that many activities that would normally be conducted face-to-face “and which are so vital to accurate assessments and decision-making” had to be done remotely and that differences in how services operated “limited the level of contact the family had with the agencies” .
What did he say about Logan’s injuries?
Almost a year before his death, the boy was seen by a doctor who noticed that the child had multiple bruises on his body and a blue mark near his genitals.
The 31 photos of the injuries were taken, during a health assessment by a pediatrician in August 2020, according to a review commissioned by the Cwm Taf Morgannwg Protection Board.
Logan’s mother, Angharad Williamson, told the Board of Health that she did not know how the mark occurred. Other injuries included bruises on the boy’s ankle, forehead, ears, arm, and cheeks, and a carpet bruise on his chin. Williamson said that Logan would hit his head and pinch himself and that the mark on his ears was from a mask.
The review stated that the child was present during the discussion between his mother and the health worker. He said he fell down the stairs and agreed when his mother mentioned the cause of the bruises in his ears as from a mask worn due to the pandemic.
He also reported banging his head and pinching himself when angry. The review concluded that there was no evidence that information about injuries recorded by a physician was shared with agencies outside the Board of Health.
The board, which published its review Thursday, said there had been an absence of one-on-one sessions with Logan outside his family’s home.
The review said this was partly due to restrictions during the pandemic, as well as “the resulting stresses on child protection systems at the time, such as high levels of staff absenteeism” due to Covid 19.
The review stated that “Logan’s voice is not heard” and that the “intricacies of adult relationships” involved in his care “overshadow the professionals’ view of him”. There was no knowledge of the reality of his lived experience, she added.
The review stated that there was a failure to share some of Logan’s injuries with “services that could have taken appropriate measures to protect him”. She said many injuries, even in isolation, “should have led” to a child protection referral. Weeks before his death in July 2021, Logan fractured his collarbone but received no medical treatment, his killers’ trial heard.