A mother accused of murdering her five-year-old son called to the child's stepfather: "I beg you, just tell the truth" as she was cross-examined in court today (Thursday).
Logan Mwangi, also known as Logan Williamson, was found dead in the River Ogmore in Bridgend on the morning of 31 July 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 Thursday morning, Angharad Williamson was cross-examined by the defence barrister for the youth defendant, John Hipkin QC.
Williamson admitted the youth was “rambunctious and boisterous” but said he was “a good boy.”
In her police interviews, Williamson described some incidents where the youth had “play-fought” with Logan, and admitted they “had to be separated a lot.”
Williamson said she did not think the youth was capable of contributing to Logan’s death.
After Mr Hipkin finished his questions, the prosecution counsel Caroline Rees QC stood up to begin her cross-examination.
Ms Rees asked her when she decided to start telling the truth.
“I have nothing in my life,” she said. “All I can do is get justice for Logan.”
Williamson was asked why, in the first four police interviews, she failed to mention the assault she said took place on Logan on the Thursday before he died.
“I didn’t think it was that hard… the injuries Logan sustained on the Thursday were not the ones that killed him. He would have been in pain throughout the Friday and we would have seen that.”
She said she had lied because she was “scared”, but admitted it was selfish behaviour.
“Why didn’t you call the police when you say you witnessed John Cole assault Logan?”, Ms Rees asked.
“I did try to call police but I couldn’t get to my phone so I ran outside and I thought I made enough of a commotion for someone to help us but nobody did,” Williamson said.
Ms Rees pushed Williamson on her failure to initially tell police about the assault that Cole allegedly perpetrated.
“If he was as awful as you suggest… why didn’t you think that was the moment to tell the truth?" she asked.
“He told me he had connections in prison”, Williamson said.
Ms Rees followed up: “Was that more important than getting justice for Logan?”
“I put myself first,” Williamson said.
Ms Rees said: “That’s what you do – you protect yourself at Logan’s expense.” Williamson said: “No.”
The barrister asked Williamson if she had a casual attitude to telling the truth to police. Williamson said she did not, but then admitted she had lied to police on numerous occasions. She said she was now telling the truth during the trial.
The court then took a short break.
“Tell us the truth - who killed Logan?” Williamson was asked when the trial restarted.
“Jay and [the youth],” she said.
Questioned how she could be so sure if she was indeed asleep throughout the night, Williamson said they were the only other people around at the time who could have attacked Logan.
“I beg you Jay just tell the truth please,” Williamson called across the court at Logan’s step-father, speaking through apparent tears. Later in her evidence, she made the same comment, to which Cole replied: “I am” from the dock.
Williamson described Cole as being “jealous and obsessed” with her previous relationship with Ben Mwangi, Logan’s biological father.
“Did Logan look like Ben?” Ms Rees asked.
“Yeah he was the spitting image of Ben,” Williamson said.
Williamson told the court that Cole and Logan’s relationship deteriorated, and she admitted that Logan had felt as though he was “last in the pecking order.”
After more questioning, Williamson said: “Please stop saying I didn’t care. I’ve made some mistakes but I loved Logan… you’re all twisting it and it’s not right.”
Asked about an occasion when food was withheld from Logan, Williamson was asked what she wished she had done about it and replied: “I think I should have grown a backbone and left [Cole] months ago.”
The court heard Cole ordered a takeaway but punished Logan by making him eat cereal instead, something Williamson now says she thinks was “f****** disgusting.”
“I should have grown a backbone and left him months earlier,” she added.
“Logan was a very unhappy little boy by July 2021 wasn’t he?” Ms Rees asked.
“He was different, yes,” Williamson admitted.
Asked why Williamson used the word “dungeon” to describe Logan’s room during his covid isolation in July last year. “Because it was so dark all the time,” Williamson said.
Ms Rees said: “He wasn’t free to come and go.”
Williamson said: “No he wasn’t…. I thought it was acceptable for him to stay in his room, I had food and took it in there, I still interacted with him… he had £500-worth of toys, a laptop, he was in his pyjamas, chilling out in his duvet days he loved.”
“500 pounds worth of toys and a laptop are no substitute for love and affection from his mother, Miss Williamson, are they?” Ms Rees replied.
“You’re making it sound so much worse than it was,” she replied.
“Why couldn’t he just go out into the garden for some fresh air?” Ms Rees continued.
“I don’t want to answer that question because Jay didn’t want him to, as a mum I should have stood up more,” Williamson replied.
Ms Rees said: “Why don’t you want to answer?”
“Because that’s admitting I’ve been a s*** mother… I don’t even feel like a mother anymore,” Williamson said.
Caroline Rees QC began asking Williamson about an incident when Logan’s arm was broken, apparently after falling down the stairs.
After the youth defendant confessed to pushing him, Williamson called the police. But she lied to the police, saying she had tried to put Logan’s arm in place, when actually this had been done by Cole.
“You’re a convincing liar arent you?” Ms Rees asked Williamson.
“At that time, it appears so. I know what you’re trying to do,” she replied.
Williamson failed to tell the truth about the arm-breaking incident in her early police interviews.
Ms Rees said: “Why didn’t you tell the truth then?"
“I did not want to admit I had lied”, was Williamson’s response.
Asked whether she was lying now to cover up for her role in Logan’s death, Williamson became very agitated again, saying: “I had nothing to do with what happened to him, it was disgusting. The way he was just thrown away was disgusting.”
After a break for lunch, Caroline Rees QC questioned Williamson on her behaviour on the Friday before Logan was found dead. By her account, this was the day after Williamson says Cole assaulted Logan.
She admits she shook Logan that Friday, shouting in his face to “stop telling f****** lies.”
In her evidence in court, Williamson said she was sympathetic to Logan that day, and explained her behaviour saying: “I was just frustrated with the whole situation.”
She went on to admit: “The poor child must have been scared s******.”
Williamson was then asked why she did not raise the alarm of the alleged assault the day before, when a social worker paid an unscheduled visit at lunchtime on Friday.
“Is it the case that he was already unconscious?” Ms Rees asked.
“No, that’s not the case… that’s not true,” Williamson said in an agitated tone.
“You’re very good at covering up aren't you Miss Williamson?” Ms Rees said.
“No!” Williamson cried from the witness box.
The court was then shown again some of the key CCTV in this case, showing the movements on the night when Cole admits he and the youth carried Logan to the river to dispose of his body.
Summarising what the prosecution allege, Ms Rees said the evidence is that Williamson used her phone in the night, opened and closed curtains in Logan’s room and switched lights on and off during the night when she said she was asleep. Williamson denied any of this was her.
As Ms Rees’ questioning intensified, Williamson began shouting, saying: “I never murdered Logan. I never laid one finger on him. What you’re implying is disgusting.”
At the end of Thursday afternoon, Mrs Justice Jefford DBE told the jury: "We have now reached the point where you have heard all the evidence you are going to hear in this case”.
The trial has been adjourned until Monday morning when the jury will be given legal direction by the Judge, before closing speeches by the various barristers is due to begin.
The trial continues.