Stepfather did not call ambulance for Logan Mwangi because he was ‘panicking’, court told
A man on trial for murdering his five-year-old stepson has told a court he did not call for an ambulance or the police when he found him dead because he was “panicking”.
John Cole, 40, denied lying about carrying out CPR on Logan Mwangi and said he tried to save him.
The body of Logan, also known as Logan Williamson, was discovered in the River Ogmore in Pandy Park, Bridgend, close to the flat where he lived with his family, on the morning of July 31 2021.
He had suffered catastrophic injuries similar to those found in victims of high-speed crashes or a fall from a height, Cardiff Crown Court has heard.
It is alleged that Cole, along with Logan’s mother, Angharad Williamson, 31, and a 14-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, violently assaulted Logan on a number of occasions in the days prior to him being found dead.
Giving evidence, Cole was asked about the early hours of July 31, around 2am to 2.15am, when he says Williamson woke him up screaming hysterically and telling him that she had heard Logan take his last breath.
Cole said he went into Logan’s bedroom, found him dead and began CPR, saying his “head was cocked back, his eyes were open and his knees were up to his chest”.
Prosecutor Caroline Rees QC asked: “Did you say to Angharad ‘Ring an ambulance’?”
Cole replied: “No.”
Ms Rees said: “Why didn’t you call for medical help?”
Cole said: “I wasn’t thinking, I was just trying to save him.”
Ms Rees continued: “Why, given you’ve been presented with a dead five-year-old, a child that calls you Dad, did you not take any steps at all to call the police?”
Cole said: “I just panicked. I woke up to Logan being dead and it threw me. I wasn’t thinking properly. Everything was collapsing. We’d just fought to get everything back together.”
He said he was worried that the rest of his family would be taken away from him.
Ms Rees said: “Did you ask ‘What the hell has gone on here?’ Didn’t you want to know how Logan died?”
Cole said: “I wasn’t thinking clearly.”
Ms Rees said: “That’s because you knew how he died. This story about doing CPR is all made up, isn’t it?
“You didn’t call an ambulance because you were one of the people who killed him.
“You, together with the other defendants in this case, applied extreme blunt force to that little boy.
“The last thing you wanted was the authorities looking at his body, so it was important to get the body out of there quickly.”
Cole replied: “No. It wasn’t like that.”
Jurors have heard that the youngster had been confined to his bedroom for a week after testing positive for Covid-19, during which time he was treated like a prisoner.
Cole said that, despite Logan testing negative on the morning of Friday July 30, he was still made to stay in his room.
When social worker Debbie Williams visited later that day and spoke to the family from outside the house for around 20 minutes, she said she did not see or hear Logan.
Prosecutor Ms Rees told Cole: “Debbie Williams heard or saw nothing of Logan while she was at the front door. You say he had been behaving badly and demanding attention all day. How was he kept quiet for those 20 minutes?”
Cole said Logan must have been watching a film.
Ms Reed added: “Was Logan already dead?”
Cole replied: “No.”
Ms Rees went on: “It wasn’t because he had already been attacked and had lost consciousness? You weren’t keeping the curtains shut to hide what was in that room, were you?”
Cole repeated: “No.”
Williamson began her evidence on Tuesday afternoon and spoke at length about her love of Logan, saying: “We did everything together. I didn’t have a partner, Logan was my little sidekick. He was just such a beautiful happy boy. He was so clever, he wanted to explore the world and see what it was about. I was so proud.”
But she said things changed after she met Cole in April 2019.
Speaking from the witness box wearing a black-and-white chequered blouse, Williamson told the jury how by Christmas that year she said she no longer saw her mother or her friends.
She said Cole had told her he was ex-special forces and had the ability to find anyone at any time.
During an incident in August 2020 when Logan fell or was pushed down the stairs in Cole’s property, Williamson said Cole used a move on Logan that he said he had learned while in the army to reposition a dislocated shoulder.
When the shoulder was not healed the next day, Williamson said she took Logan to hospital and took responsibility for trying to fix the arm herself. When examined, Logan was found to have broken his arm. The hospital made a referral to social services.
Cole has admitted perverting the course of justice by dumping the boy’s body in the river, but denies murder. Williamson and the youth deny all charges against them.
The trial continues.
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