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Stepfather used sports bag to dump five-year-old’s body, court hears

John Cole admits hiding Logan Mwangi’s body by a river in Bridgend, but denies his murder.

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A sketch of John Cole giving evidence at Cardiff Crown Court (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

A sketch of John Cole giving evidence at Cardiff Crown Court (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

A sketch of John Cole giving evidence at Cardiff Crown Court (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

A man who dumped a five-year-old’s dead body in a river claims he and the child’s mother agreed a plan to dispose of his remains together, a court has heard.

Logan Mwangi was discovered in the River Ogmore in Pandy Park, Bridgend, on the morning of July 31 2021, a few hundred metres from the flat he shared with his family.

The child, also known as Logan Williamson, had suffered catastrophic injuries likened to those found on victims of high-speed crashes or a fall from a height.

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The entrance to a small wooded area adjacent to the A4063 and the Llynfi River in Sarn, Bridgend, which leads to where five-year-old Logan Mwangi’s pyjama top was discovered (Ben Birchall/PA)

The entrance to a small wooded area adjacent to the A4063 and the Llynfi River in Sarn, Bridgend, which leads to where five-year-old Logan Mwangi’s pyjama top was discovered (Ben Birchall/PA)

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The entrance to a small wooded area adjacent to the A4063 and the Llynfi River in Sarn, Bridgend, which leads to where five-year-old Logan Mwangi’s pyjama top was discovered (Ben Birchall/PA)

His stepfather John Cole, 40, has admitting perverting the course of justice for hiding the boy’s body, but denies murder.

He is on trial at Cardiff Crown Court alongside Logan’s mother Angharad Williamson, 30, and a 14-year-old boy who cannot be named because of his age.

Giving evidence on Wednesday, Cole said he had awoken at around 2am to Williamson shouting “Logan’s dead, Logan’s dead”.

“I tried to do CPR, Angharad said she had just heard him take his last breath,” Cole said.

“I was trying to save him, I was trying to do CPR on him.”

He continued: “I started giving him chest compressions and breaths, I moved him on to the floor and I continued to do CPR for ages – it must have been 10 or 15 minutes.”

Cole said he had given up first aid after Williamson begged him to stop.

The defendant denied knowing why Logan was “in that state”, insisting “it just didn’t make sense at all”.

He and Williamson decided to bundle Logan into a sports bag and get him out of than property rather than call police or an ambulance, Cole said.

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The view of the River Ogmore in Sarn near where Logan was found (Ben Birchall/PA)

The view of the River Ogmore in Sarn near where Logan was found (Ben Birchall/PA)

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The view of the River Ogmore in Sarn near where Logan was found (Ben Birchall/PA)

“Angharad put on his Spider-Man t-shirt, I helped her put it on him, we put him in a Nike bag and carried him out of the property,” he said.

Cole said: “We were panicking, both of us, we didn’t know what to do – we mentioned about phoning the police, we mentioned about phoning the ambulance, but Logan was already dead.”

When asked why they had panicked, he replied: “I had just come into a dead child, it just didn’t make any sense.”

Cole denied having anything to do with Logan’s death or knowing how he came to be so badly injured.

“Angharad said: ‘Just get him out of here,'” he said.

Cole was caught on a neighbour’s CCTV at 2.45am on July 31 carrying Logan’s body out of the flat, followed by the youth defendant.

They later returned to the property, only to go back out again to dump a ripped dinosaur top belonging to Logan.

Cole claims he left Logan’s body on the river bank and not in the water itself where he was later found, and also claims he did not know the youth had followed him.

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Angharad Williamson at Cardiff Crown Court (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

Angharad Williamson at Cardiff Crown Court (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

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Angharad Williamson at Cardiff Crown Court (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

Williamson denies knowledge of the plan to dump her son’s body, and says the first time she was aware he was missing was when she awoke at 5am.

Cole has admitted “clipping” Logan to punish him, but denies causing his extensive injuries.

In his evidence, he said the five-year-old had become very difficult following the arrival of a new baby in the household.

“Logan struggled with the baby quite a lot, he got jealous,” Cole said.

Cole said Logan had once placed a pillow over the baby’s face when the infant was about two months old, and had also “tapped and hit” it.

According to Cole, a burn mark on Logan’s neck was due to Williamson pulling a teaspoon out of her hot cup of coffee and holding it on his skin, saying it was what her father used to do to her.

“I said: ‘No, you can’t do that’ – we put ice on it and told the social services he had burnt it on the tap,” Cole said.

A family friend previously said Cole had bullied Logan by depriving him of meals and forcing him to do press-ups as punishment.

The defendant said he had only ever got the child to do press-ups “to burn off energy”.

“When he was running around and getting hyperactive we would burn off that energy,” he said.

He said Logan had never been denied food, but added: “We used to do takeaway nights, if he had been really naughty we would not give him the takeaway with us, we would give him other food, but he would lose out on that one.”

Williamson and the youth deny murder and perverting the course of justice.

Cole denies murder but admits perverting the course of justice.

Cole and Williamson are also charged with causing or allowing the death of a child.

The trial continues.

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