Five-year-old boy found in river made to face wall ‘for 30 minutes’ as punishment, court told
A five-year-old boy who was found dead in a river was made by his parents to stand facing a wall “for 30 minutes at a time” as punishment, a court has been told.
Logan Mwangi (pictured), also known as Logan Williamson, was found in the River Ogmore in Sarn, Bridgend, South Wales, on July 31 2021.
He had suffered such catastrophic injuries that one pathologist described them as “so extreme you would expect to find them as a result of a fall from a great height or a high-velocity road traffic accident”.
Logan’s mother, Angharad Williamson, 30, his stepfather John Cole, 40, and a 14-year-old boy are on trial at Cardiff Crown Court charged with his murder.
On Tuesday, what would have been Logan’s sixth birthday, the court heard from a friend of Cole’s, Callum Williams, who said he had witnessed the young boy being disciplined several times.
When asked by prosecutor Caroline Rees QC about a time when he saw Cole and Williamson discipline Logan, he said: “They would try and talk to him to figure out what was going on, and if that didn’t work they would make him stand on the landing facing the wall, with his hands on the bannister, for 30 minutes each time.”
On another occasion, Mr Williams said he visited to have a takeaway with the couple, and they deprived Logan of any, saying he misbehaved, allowing him only a bowl of cereal that night.
Mr Williams was one of the last people, outside of the immediate family, to see Logan alive, having spoken to him briefly during a FaceTime call with Cole just after midnight on July 27, 2021.
He said he saw Logan colouring on the stairs and that he had shown him a drawing of “a field with some flowers or animals”.
“He seemed the best I’d seen him. He was very happy and joyful as well,” Mr Williams said.
The court has heard previously from witnesses, including social workers, who said they had noticed that Williamson and Cole were “strict” parents.
In a statement read to the jury, another family friend, Jodie Simmonds, said she had visited the family in January 2020 with food to share together but was told by Cole that Logan was not allowed to have any because he had been “misbehaving”.
Ms Simmonds said she had also seen Cole make Logan do push-ups as a form of punishment.
He was also made to stand outside bare-footed and stare at the wall for 30 minutes, the court heard.
Next-door neighbour Fred Witchell also described hearing the couple shout at the children, saying the tone was “aggressive and nasty”.
Logan and his younger siblings’ social worker, Gaynor Rush also gave evidence, telling the court how she had been asked to start working with them after they were placed on the child protection register due to concerns about Cole’s past.
During her unscheduled visits to the flat in Lower Llansantffraid where the family lived, Ms Rush said the property always appeared clean, the children were well presented and clean and had plenty of toys.
Ms Rush said it was clear Williamson “adored Logan” and “appeared to only want the best for her children”.
David Elias QC, defending Cole, asked: “There was nothing to suggest Logan was nothing other than loved by both Angharad and John?”
Ms Rush replied: “Absolutely.”
When the couple raised concerns about the youth defendant with her, Ms Rush said she attempted to get more information about him from his social worker, Debbie Williams, but that she never responded.
Ms Williams gave evidence on Monday and denied she had been told by a previous foster family of the youth that he had on more than one occasion threatened to kill them, and told them of his desire to kill Logan.
Melanie Smith, a health visitor of 25 years, told the court she had worked with the family since March 2019, and in August 2020 had received notification from the NHS that Logan had been taken to hospital with a broken collarbone.
Staff at the A&E were concerned about a delay in Williamson taking Logan to hospital, having told them she tried to put the dislocated bone back in herself and given him Calpol.
Ms Smith said that in the months that followed, a suggestion arose that the teenage defendant had pushed Logan down the stairs.
Williamson later said Logan must have fallen down the stairs by himself because everyone else had been sitting downstairs at the time.
It is alleged the three defendants murdered Logan before concocting a cover-up plan which included dumping the boy’s body in the river, phoning the police to report him missing, and washing bloodstained bed linen.
Both the youth and Williamson deny any involvement in Logan’s death. Williamson claims to have woken that morning to find him missing.
Cole denied murder but admits perverting the course of justice.
CCTV footage played to the jury showed Cole carrying Logan out of the flat at about 2am that morning, closely followed by the youth.
The youth has been appearing at trial via a videolink. Williamson, who usually sits next to Cole in the dock, was absent from Tuesday’s hearing.
Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2022, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Facebook.