'We'd both been rough with him but not like this' - police interviews read in Logan Mwangi trial

A man accused of beating his five-year-old stepson to death and dumping his body in a river claims he woke up to find the boy lifeless in bed, a court has heard.

Logan Mwangi, also known as Logan Williamson, was found in the River Ogmore in Pandy Park, Bridgend, on July 31 2021.

He had suffered catastrophic injuries, including a large tear to his liver, another to his small bowel, extensive bruising and a bleed on the brain.

Logan's mother Angharad Williamson, 30, his stepfather John Cole, and a 14-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are on trial at Cardiff Crown Court accused of murder.

On Wednesday, the jury was read transcripts from Cole's police interviews in which he admitted being rough with Logan, but denied causing his fatal injuries.

Angharad Williamson, 30, and her partner, John Cole, 39, in the dock at Cardiff Crown Court Credit: Elizabeth Cook/PA

In Cardiff Bay Police station on August 3rd 2021, Cole was interviewed by two police officers. He said Logan's behaviour had been getting worse and they were struggling to cope.

He claimed Logan had been a "nightmare" and would often throw himself on the floor. He admitted throwing Logan on the bed in frustration and "clipping" him on the back of the head.

Cole claimed that Williamson "lost her temper" after Logan began messing around with Angharad Williamson's laptop, trying to gain access to a website to watch a film.

John Cole, or Jay as he is known, then told police he woke on the morning of July 31 hearing Williamson shouting "Logan's dead, Logan's dead".

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.

Cole said 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.

A police officer asked Cole: "Did you lose your temper and beat Logan to death?

Cole replied, "No”.

In another interview, Cole told police: "We'd both been rough with him, but not like this... We've both grabbed him. We've both thrown him on the bed. I just don't know what happened or what killed him. I woke up and he was dead".

Mr Cole told police more details about what he says happened on the Friday night before Logan was found dead. Cole says Logan returned a negative lateral flow test for Covid-19 and the parents decided to "de-covid" his bedroom, including washing his bottom sheet.

When police arrived at the property where Logan lived after he was reported missing, police worn camera footage includes sounds from either a washing machine or tumble dryer mid-cycle.

The prosecution say that was another attempt to cover up for the murder of Logan. Blood stains were found on other items of Logan's bedding.

Tributes left at the scene in Sarn near to where five-year-old Logan Mwangi was found dead. Credit: PA

Earlier, the jury heard a statement from Sarah Jones, an offender manager at HMP Cardiff, where Cole was detained.

She described an occasion in August 2021 when Cole seemed to blame the killing on the 14-year-old.

Ms Jones said Cole told her, without prompting: "The thing is I didn't kill Logan.

"I've got a moral dilemma, do I go down for murder and protect (the 14-year-old)?"

Ms Jones said: "I don't remember the exact wording but he definitely intimated the (youth defendant) was directly involved."

Several support workers involved with the teenager after Logan's death 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 14-year-old singing "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".

Williamson and the youth deny murder and perverting the course of justice. Cole denies murder but admits perverting the course of justice.

Cole and Williamson are also charged with causing or allowing the death of a child.

The trial continues.