A mother accused of murdering her son claimed the boy's stepfather "punched him twice in the stomach" days before he was found dead.
Logan Mwangi, also known as Logan Williamson, was found dead in the River Ogmore in Pandy Park, Bridgend, on the morning of July 31 2021.
He had suffered catastrophic injuries likened to those found on victims of high-speed crashes or someone who had fallen from a height.
Logan's mother, Angharad Williamson, 30, his stepfather John Cole, and a 14-year-old boy, who cannot legally be identified, are on trial at Cardiff Crown Court accused of murder. All three deny the charge.
On the second day of her evidence, Angharad Williamson went into the witness box wearing a bottle green top with a black cardigan and glasses. She had a bright green scrunchie on one wrist and a rose gold watch on the other. A small pendant necklace hung round her neck.
Williamson continued answering questions from her defence barrister Peter Rouch QC.
One of Williamson’s co-accused, a 14-year-old boy, is subject to legal reporting restrictions and some of her evidence that gives details of the youth cannot be published.
“Mr Cole moved back in with you in April or May… how did you feel about that,” Mr Rouch asked.
“I was happy… I felt like we were finally getting the family back together”, Williamson replied.
Angharad Williamson’s mother, Clare Williamson, watched her daughter’s evidence from just a few metres away in the public gallery.
Mr Rouch asked Williamson about the period between April and mid-June last year.
“John became quite strict with Logan”, Williamson said, talking about his parenting style.
Mr Rouch said: “Did you have a way of punishing Logan if he was naughty?”
Williamson said: “It’s been spoken about a lot but it was literally just the naughty corner.”
Mr Rouch said: “Where did you learn about it?”
Williamson said: “It’s Nanny 911 and Jo Frost. It’s about positive parenting and giving children time out, a minute for every year of his age.
“Logan used to go in the hallway and would stand in the corner for five minutes to calm down. I said: ‘Logan, stand there for five minutes. Take a breath’… After the five minutes he would tell me what he had done wrong, tell me the lie, we’d have a hug and get on with the rest of the day.
“John didn’t like me giving him a hug and said it was rewarding bad behaviour.”
Williamson said Cole would complain of Logan giving him “dirty looks”, which would cause arguments every day between the couple.
Williamson said Cole would also blame Logan as the cause of the arguments.
“If Jay [John Cole] put him in the corner he’d be very nervous, looking back. He would flinch.”
“Did you pick up on this at the time?” Mr Rouch asked.
“I thought Jay was trying to help the family get structure in.”
Williamson paused to regain her composure before continuing: “I feel so bad.
“I thought he was helping parenting. I didn’t realise how strict he was and how scared Logan was."
Williamson was asked about the stammer Logan had, which she said got worse when Cole moved into the family home.
“He’d get over excited and he wouldn’t be able to get his words out so we taught him breathing exercises. I informed the school and we worked together."
Williamson imitated to the jury the stammer she said Logan had, and added Cole “would get very frustrated” with him over it.
Mr Rouch asked her about the isolation arrangements for Logan in the final week of his life. She said she would get him to put a mask on when she came in to give him food or drinks.
Williamson also told the court Cole did not like her staying in his room to talk to him while she delivered food during his isolation, saying Logan should turn his head away to avoid spreading the germs.
“We had lots of arguments about that. He was just a little boy," Williamson said, choking up slightly and bowing her head.
The atmosphere in court, as well as Williamson’s demeanour, changed as she began being asked about the Thursday before Logan died, when she alleges Cole and the youth assaulted Logan.
After shouting at each other in disagreement about something, Williamson told the court that Cole said to Logan: “You love it when mummy and I argue, you think it’s funny.
“He called Logan out of his bedroom into the hallway and he tried to talk to him and Logan stuttered and he wouldn’t talk to Jay. I told him to leave him alone."
Williamson then told the court that Jay punched Logan twice in the stomach, which knocked him back onto his bottom with his elbows hitting the floor.
Speaking through tears, Williamson said: “He 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.”
At this point in her evidence, Williamson breaks down and paused while she appeared to cry. She bowed her head and her dark coloured hair hid much of her facial expression from the jury.
Mr Rouch continued: “Did Logan get back to his feet?" Williamson said: “Yes.”
Mr Rouch said: “Do you know what he meant by sweeping?”
Willaimson said: “Yes, it’s sweeping his legs from underneath him…. They used to do martial arts.”
Mr Rouch said: “What happened?”
Williamson said: “[The youth] swept him and pushed him to the floor as he did it. He put his hand on his head and pushed to the ground.”
Mr Rouch said: “What did you do?”
Williamson said: “I jumped over, grabbed Logan, and said: ‘Go to your room and stay there’.”
Asked about the aftermath of the alleged assault, Williamson continued: “I wanted to leave and get help for Logan, I wanted help. They overstepped the mark and hurt Logan.
“I told [Cole] to leave me alone. He said I needed to calm down. He towered over me and it was so intimidating. I wanted to get help for Logan and he wouldn’t get out of my way... I caught my legs on the baby gate and I ran and ran.
“I wanted to leave for good, I'd had enough.”
Mr Rouch said: “Did you tell John Cole you wanted to leave for good?”
Again speaking through tears, Williamson said: “Yeah a little bit later... I said I wanted to leave and he said: ‘If we break up because of Logan I’m going to kill him’.”
“You left the house and ran to the gate?”, Mr Rouch asked.
Williamson said: “Yes.”
The court then took a short break before Williamson continued to give evidence.
“You told us that John Cole punched him twice, did you see any injuries?”, Mr Rouch asked.
“He had a little red mark on his belly”, Williamson said. “I gave him a drink, a cuddle and some calpol… He was scared”.
Williamson told the court Logan went to sleep in her arms on that Thursday night at around 8pm.
“I curled up on the chair next to his bed. I just stroked his head and told him everything was going to be OK.
“Friday morning didn’t start well again”, she continued. “Logan gets up at 5/5:30am every day to go to the toilet. Logan had been pottering around in his room and then he pressed something on the laptop and ran back to his room.”
Williamson told the court that Cole had been annoyed with him over this incident, but that she tried to “break the cycle” of confrontation between the five-year-old and his step-dad.
Mr Rouch moved on to ask Williamson about the shower they say they gave Logan on the Friday before he was found dead. She described Logan complained about getting soap in his eyes, before she says Cole “wallopped” Logan to his head.
Asked to elaborate on this alleged assault, Williamson indicated to the jury it was a slap, saying it was an “oi, behave” type of slap.
Williamson said she took Logan to the toilet at 10/10.30, where she claimed he was so sleepy that he fell into the toilet a bit and she asked him to “wake up a bit”.
Williamson then told the court she woke up at 5.30am on Saturday morning and could not find Logan.
“What was your demeanour?”, Mr Rouch asked.
“I was hysterical. My child was missing and no one knew where he was,” she said.
She said she told police that after checking in the hallway, she was sure he had not taken his coat or shoes. “I was so scared that he was going to be cold and alone,” she said.
Asked if her 999 call had been all an act, as the prosecution allege, she said: “You can’t fake feelings like that… He was my little boy and he was out there on his own,” Williamson said, becoming hysterical in court and bowing her head again.
Williamson told the court she has taken hormone medication in the past to attempt to control her emotions, which she describes as erratic.
“Did you come to know that Logan had been found in the river?”, Mr Rouch asked.
“Yes,” she replied.
“Do you know how you came to know that?”
“I’m not sure. It could have been Rhiannon (Hales), it could have been Jay, it could have been [the youth],” Williamson said.
When Mr Rouch began asking about events in the hospital, Williamson appeared to be shaking in the witness box and put her head in her hands and apologised.
“Take your time… you’re obviously very upset,” her defence barrister said.
After Williamson spoke to police and hospital staff where Logan’s body lay, she was taken back to another property by officers.
Asked what the youth was doing on arrival at this property, Williamson replied: “Like normal, like nothing had happened. I asked Jay why he was being like this. He said he doesn’t know how to process this… he’s still in shock."
After Williamson was charged with perverting the course of justice, she was taken to Eastwood Park prison.
She alleges she was subject to death threats and abusive name-calling from other inmates. She told the court she did not come out of her cell for two weeks because it “wasn’t safe”.
“Did you play any part at all in the events that led to Logan’s death?”, Mr Rouch asked.
“No I didn’t,” she said crying again.
“Were you aware of Cole carrying Logan’s body out?”
“No I wasn’t… That was my baby, I loved him dearly."
At that point, Mr Rouch sat down and Cole’s defence barrister David Elias QC asked if she was OK to continue, to which she said she was.
Mr Elias asked if Cole was a “phenomenal dad”, something she had said during her police interviews.
Williamson said he had initially been an excellent dad, but that it was only later that she realised “how controlling he was and over-strict”.
In her police interviews, she told police she was not scared of Cole when he shouted at her. Asked why she said that when she now says that is not the case, Williamson said it was precisely because she was scared of him that she did not tell the police the truth.
“Why did you lie to the police?”, Mr Elias said.
Williamson paused and then said: “I was ashamed. I had been overpowered by a man before and I had allowed another man to overpower me again and I didn’t want to admit that I was scared."
“Jay told me that he was going to kill me”, she continued. “I couldn’t tell the police that I was scared of him because I would have had to tell them that he was in the SAS. He said he was going to kill me."
Cole was never in the forces or the SAS. Williamson says he showed her videos, apparently taken during his tours of Afghanistan.
“You’re implying I am crazy or something,” Williamson said to Mr Elias. “I am only telling you what Cole told me."
Mr Elias asked her about whether she had watched a video called: “Crocodile tears: deceitful murderers lie and cry for the cameras".
She he said had watched that video in mid July, before Logan had died, because she is interested in crime documentaries.
“Do you ever cry crocodile tears?”, she was asked.
“I know what you’re implying, but no”, she replied.
The trial continues.