Logan Mwangi 'treated like disposable rubbish in life and in death', murder trial hears

Logan Mwangi was found dead in the River Ogmore in Pandy Park, Bridgend

A five-year-old was "treated like disposable rubbish in life" before his body was dumped in a river, a court has heard.

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.

Prosecuting counsel Caroline Rees QC began her closing speech after lunch. 

“He must have been a very brave little boy… because he endured a home environment where he was not treated with the love he deserved,” she began. 

He had been “kept like a prisoner" in his room in the last week of his life during his Covid isolation, she said.

Ms Rees continued: “The prosecution say Logan was dehumanised by the defendants in this case, treated like disposable rubbish in life, just as you know he was in death when his lifeless body was fly-tipped like rubbish by John Cole in the River Ogmore."

Ms Rees admitted that the prosecution cannot prove exactly what happened within the house or who struck the fatal blow to Logan. 

But she said there was a “raft of powerful circumstantial evidence” that all three defendants took part in the murder and subsequent cover up. 

Ms Rees then turned to the key evidence in the case, and the inferences she recommends the jury draw from it. 

Dr Deborah Stalker, the pediatrician who gave evidence, said Logan’s 56 external injuries were “deliberately inflicted injuries”, proving - she said - he had been “physically abused”. 

Ms Rees said all the defendants must have known what happened to Logan to cause the injuries.

“They were all involved… they’re putting their self interest first,” Ms Rees concluded. 

Angharad Williamson and John Cole had denied Logan’s murder Credit: Elizabeth Cook/PA

Ms Rees said the evidence by the pathologist showed how “ferocious” the attack on Logan must have been. 

“Ladies and gentleman, he would have been in agony, someone would have noticed it,” Ms Rees told the jury. 

“We say, on behalf of the prosecution, that it tells you much about each of the defendants involved that not one of them called for an ambulance, not one of them called for help. Why? Well what more powerful a motive could there be than to cover up what had truly happened."

Ms Rees said all three defendants had kept up a “conspiracy of silence” on the events surrounding Logan’s death last year. 

She referred back to Cole’s evidence when he told of an occasion when he says Williamson deliberately burnt Logan’s neck with a hot spoon. Ms Rees said the pair then worked together to lie to social services to hide the truth of what had happened to him. 

Ms Rees then moved on to Williamson’s evidence. She reminded the jury about the incident when Logan fractured his arm when he fell down the stairs. Williamson told police, medical professionals and social services that it had been her that had manipulated Logan’s arm, rather than Cole. 

The body of five-year-old Logan Mwangi was found in the River Ogmore in Pandy Park, Bridgend Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

She admitted during the trial that that had been a lie, and that it had been Cole who had tried to pop his arm back in. Ms Rees said this fitted with the theme of the pair lying to cover up the truth and putting their interests ahead of Logan’s. 

Speaking to members of the jury, Ms Rees said: “They will, the prosecution say, even lie to you”. 

“We say Angharad Williamson is a liar.... and a selfish woman whose only protective instincts are for herself. She had been in her own words, 'a s*** mum' to Logan."

After speaking at length about the adult defendants, Ms Rees said: “we invite you to guard against allowing the youth defendant to fly under the radar” just because he had not given evidence from the witness box. 

Ms Rees said the evidence showed him to be a violent boy who had a fascination for cruelty.

She reminded the jury of previously heard evidence that the youth defendant had made repeated threats to kill Logan just five days before he was found dead. 

The barrister said there was an “irresistible inference” from the available evidence that the youth was one of Logan’s killers and his behaviour in the hours and days after Logan was found dead demonstrated he gained pleasure from his death and was “revelling in the situation”. 

The teenage defendant had a “deep-seated desire for Logan’s death," Ms Rees concluded. 

The prosecution then moved onto the CCTV evidence in this case, saying it showed “beyond a shadow of doubt” that both Williamson and the youth were fully aware of what was going on during the night when Logan’s lifeless body was taken down to the river by John Cole. 

Ms Rees again questioned why Angharad Williamson never sought help for Logan after she said he was assaulted by Cole and the youth on the Thursday before he died. 

On the subject of Cole’s claim that he accepted Williamson’s explanation that Logan’s death was a “tragic accident”, Ms Rees said Cole had not needed more clarification because he knew exactly what had happened and had played a full part in his death. 

Ms Rees said it was the prosecution’s view that all three defendants approached their interviews with police as an opportunity for self-preservation. She said John Cole was left with no choice but to admit he carried Logan’s body to the river due to the CCTV evidence, but Ms Rees said he had lied about his involvement with his death. 

“He knew full well how Logan had died,” she concluded. 

Court artist sketch of John Cole giving evidence at Cardiff Crown Court Credit: Elizabeth Cook/PA

As she approached the end of her speech, Ms Rees told the jury: “Whoever killed Logan Mwangi is visible in this court. Either in the dock or visible via video link." 

She said all the defendants have acted like “rats in a bag”, trying to attack each other in order to deflect blame away from themselves. 

Ms Rees asked the jury to pull the strands of evidence together in order to determine what the prosecution allege, which is that each one of the defendants played their part in the murder of Logan and the subsequent cover up. 

Upon the conclusion of her speech, the court was adjourned until 10am on Tuesday (April 12). The court will hear closing speeches from the barristers of each of the three defendants. They all deny murder.