The mum and stepdad of Logan Mwangi have been found guilty of murdering the five-year-old before his body was dumped in a river.
A 14-year-old boy – who cannot be named for legal reasons – was also convicted of murdering the five-year-old and perverting the course of justice.
The boy was found dead on July 31 last year in the River Ogmore near his home in Bridgend, south Wales, with injuries “usually seen in car crash victims”.
Prosecutors had alleged Logan had been subjected to a “brutal and sustained assault” prior to his death, during which he suffered more than 56 injuries before being dumped like “fly tipping”.
Logan’s mum Angharad Williamson, 31, stepdad John Cole, 40, and a third defendant, a 14-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons due to his age, had all denied his murder.
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Williamson collapsed to the floor as the verdict was delivered, saying “no, no, no, no, no”, with Judge Mrs Justice Jefford telling her: “For respect for your son and (the youth) please remain quiet.”
She had to be held back by court officers, Wales Online reports, shouting at Cole: “You lying motherf****** murderer, you lying murderer.”
Two days before Logan died the court heard claims that Cole had carried out a cowardly attack on the youngster.
Williamson said: “I have [Cole] called Logan out of his bedroom…sorry, he pulled him out in the hallway and tried to talk to him.
“Logan stuttered. I said: ‘Jay leave him alone’. He said: ‘I’ve had enough, he needs to talk to me’.
“He stuttered again and Jay punched him twice to the stomach, he fell on his bum and hit his elbows on the floor. I went forward and blocked the way to the kitchen.
“I asked for [the youth] to come from the living room into the hallway and said: ‘If he flinches again or stutters sweep him’.
“He did and he pushed his head to the ground.”
The next morning, she said, Logan was “more clingy” and “wanted more attention from me.”
The court also heard claims that Logan was subjected to physical punishments and denied food if he was naughty.
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Cole, 40, gave evidence at his trial and claimed while Logan was denied takeaway food “probably three or four times”, he had been given other food instead.
When asked about a fracture to his neck that Logan suffered a week before his death, Cole said the boy had sustained it while falling off his wheelchair in the garden.
Cole told the court that the schoolboy wasn’t in pain, didn’t miss any school and didn’t need treatment in his eyes.
Logan also had a hot spoon placed on his neck by his mum, the jury was told.
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Several support workers involved with the 14-year-old boy charged with Logan’s murder said he alternated between hostility and using a baby voice if he thought it would get him out of trouble.
One, Julie Rowlands, recalled the youth singing “I love kids, I f***ing love kids, I love to punch kids in the head, it’s orgasmic” one evening when he had been told to go to bed.
She said the youth had repeatedly sung those words “to no particular melody” as if “he wanted us to know what he was singing about”.
Jurors were warned that the evidence will be “difficult to listen to” during the trial.
Pediatrician Dr Deborah Stalker wrote two reports, dated October and November 2021, in relation to Logan’s injuries.
The reports allegedly looked at the impact the injuries would have had on Logan, how he would have behaved and what symptoms he would have experienced.
It also looked at the timings and severity of the injuries, jurors heard.
Dr Stalker said: “Logan had quite extensive bruising including deep bruising on the back of the scalp.
“It would have been painful at the time it was affected and tended to the touch.
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“He wouldn’t have wanted to lie down on it. He had severe brain injuries too.
“We don’t know whether Logan was knocked out and did not regain consciousness, or whether he gained consciousness, or whether he was knocked out and suffered a progression of the symptoms which would lead to his death.”
Pathologist Dr John Williams performed a post mortem on Logan on August 1, 2021, the day after his body was found.
He said there was “extensive deep scalp bruising” to the back of the head – and patchy “deep scalp bruising” to the left and right frontal scalp.
There was also haemorrhaging to the right side of the head and inside the skull. A separate examination of Logan’s brain – which was carried out on August 25, 2021 – revealed “brain swelling, bleeding, microcalcification, and hypoxic ischemic brain injury”.
The court heard there was evidence of severe blunt force injury to the abdomen including tearing to the liver and bowel and stripping of the duodenum from anantomical attachments.
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Dr Williams later added: “The court heard there were features indicating a period of survival following injuries being sustained which may have been up to several hours… The findings do not indicate death occurred immediately after injuries were sustained.”
He said the severity of these injuries may be expected with a fall or collapse, and absent of a high velocity accident, the injuries are consistent with “a blow or blows, a kick or kicks or impact of impacts with a weapon”.
The medical cause of Logan’s death was given as blunt force abdominal injury and cerebral injury including brain swelling, hypoxic ischemic neuronal injury and traumatic brain injury.
Jurors also heard that Logan, a pupil at Tondu Primary School, was a bright and happy child – something echoed by teaching assistant Wendy John’s statement, which was read aloud to the court.
Ms John said: “He always made me happy and was a perfect child. I have loved school life and helping teachers. He could not do enough for us and asked us if we were ok. He was a total joy and amazing.
“He was quite tall for his age and of slight build. I was made aware he had a stammer but I only noticed it if he got excited, otherwise, he was normal.”
However, because of the coronavirus pandemic schools across Wales were closed and children like Logan had to stay at home.
But when classes resumed Miss John noticed Logan appeared different.
She said: “After Covid and after he returned to school I was in a different bubble to him as he was in reception but whenever I saw him he was happy to see me and would have a chat with me.
“I noticed his stammer got worse and noticed he had lost weight and had dark circles around his eyes.”
Cole claimed Logan had been a “nightmare” and would often throw himself on the floor. I have admitted throwing Logan on the bed in frustration and slapping him on the back of the head.
But he said he woke up on the morning of July 31 hearing Williamson shouting “Logan’s dead, Logan’s dead”, jurors heard.
Cole said in a statement: “I came running through, he was lying on his back with his head to the side and up in a weird position – his legs half cocked at the knees.
“His eyes were wide open, I moved his head and it flopped.”
The defendant claimed he performed CPR for between 10 and 15 minutes, but accepted he had not called 999.
It was put to Cole in interview that Logan had no injuries to his ribcage consistent with emergency resuscitation, but he insisted he had done so, the court heard.
Cole claimed he and Williamson had “panicked” and decided to dump Logan’s body in the river rather than call police.
He said he picked a spot near where he and the teenage defendant had been fly-tipping rubbish a few days earlier.
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The trial has previously heard that Williamson phoned 999 at 5.46am on August 31 to report her son missing – a call that the Crown alleges Logan’s mum was “playing the part of a distraught mother to the full extent of her acting abilities”.
She said of that day: “I was so scared and then it was true – my worst nightmare.
“He was gone, I didn’t know where he was gone, I didn’t know if he was safe. He was my little boy and he was out there on his own.”
“They told me he was [dead] but I didn’t believe them.”
As well as the murder charge all three defendants were also accused of perverting the course of justice, including moving Logan’s body to the river near Pandy Park, removing his clothing, washing bloodstained bed linen, and making a false missing person report to police.