Couple accused of killing Logan Mwangi hit him day before he was found dead

The stepfather of five-year-old Logan Mwangi has told a jury that he and the boy’s mother struck him the day before he died and described carrying his body to the riverbank where he was found – but insisted they did not kill the child.

John Cole, who is on trial alongside Logan’s mother, Angharad Williamson, and a 14-year-old boy, told Cardiff crown court he was woken on the night of the death by his partner screaming that her son was dead.

The defendant said he gave Logan CPR but then, rather than phoning for the emergency services, he and Williamson crammed the boy’s body into a bag and he took it to the riverbank.

Cole, 40, Williamson, 30, and the teenager, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, deny murdering Logan, whose body was found in the river near his home in the village of Sarn in south Wales on 31 July last year, having suffered more than 50 injuries.

The prosecution alleges all three were involved in murdering Logan before concocting a coverup that included dumping his body in the river and phoning the police to falsely report him missing.

At the start of the defence case, Cole said that on the night of his death Williamson had been sitting with Logan in his room trying to calm him down because the boy had been “kicking off”.

The defendant said he woke up at 2am on 31 July to the sound of Williamson screaming that Logan was dead. He said he went into the room and she told him she had just heard Logan take his last breath.

“I tried to do CPR,” he said. “There was no response. Angharad said: ‘Please stop. He’s dead’.” Cole said he did not know how Logan had died. “It just didn’t make sense at all.”

He said he and Williamson put a Spider-Man top on Logan, who was bare-chested, and then placed his body in a Nike bag. Asked why they had not called for help, Cole replied: “Shock, panic … I wasn’t thinking completely clearly. We put the top on him, put him in the Nike bag and I took him out the property. I believe Angharad said: ‘Just get him out of here.’

“I just ended up walking. I ended up putting Logan down by the riverbank. I didn’t put him in the river.” He said he then heard a noise and turned and saw the 14-year-old boy there.

The defendant said he returned to Williamson with the 14-year-old and she asked him to get rid of a dinosaur-patterned pyjama top of Logan’s. He claimed he and the teenager went to some bushes and he threw it away.

He told the jury that he used to get Logan to do press-ups to “burn off energy” and admitted that he and Williamson lied to social services about how the boy came by a burn on his neck.

Cole said Logan had been running around boisterously and Williamson placed a hot coffee spoon on his neck. They told the authorities Logan had burned himself accidentally.

In the days before he died, Logan had been isolating because he had Covid, Cole said, which put pressure on the couple. “Me and Angharad were both struggling.”

The defendant said on the day before Logan’s body was found he smacked him on the hand and clipped him round the back of the head. He claimed Williamson had caught him on the cheek as she tried to clip him. Cole insisted he had not caused the child’s death.

The trial continues.

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