A teacher of a little boy who was found dead in a river with severe injuries said he appeared different after returning to school once lockdown restrictions had been lifted.
Logan Mwangi, 5, was found dead on July 31 last year in the River Ogmore near Pandy Park in Bridgend. The schoolboy had suffered injuries one pathologist described 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, of Lower Llansantffraid, Sarn, Bridgend, and stepdad John Cole, 40, of Maesglas, Ynysawdre, Bridgend, deny his murder. A third defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons due to his age, has also pleaded not guilty to murder and all are on trial at Cardiff Crown Court.
Read more: Go here to read all the latest stories from the courts in Wales
All three are also accused of perverting the course of justice, including moving Logan’s body to the river near Pandy Park, removing his clothing, washing bloodstained bed linen, and making a false missing person report to police.
Williamson and the youth pleaded not guilty to both offences while Cole denied murder but admitted perverting the course of justice.
Williamson and Cole were also charged with causing or allowing the death of a child, which they both denied.
(Image: Athena Pictures)
Previously, jurors have been told that Tondu Primary School pupil Logan was a bright and happy child – something echoed by teaching assistant Wendy John’s statement, which was read aloud to the court.
Ms John said: “I first met Logan in 2019 when he attended pre nursery class. He was happy, caring, loving, and happy, intelligent child. He was always pleasant and polite and had a wicked laugh.
“He always made me happy and was a perfect child. He loved school life and helping teachers. He could not do enough for us and asked us if we were ok. He was a total joy and amazing.
“He was quite tall for his age and of slight build. I was made aware he had a stammer but I only noticed it if he got excited, otherwise he was normal.”
However, because of the coronavirus pandemic schools across Wales were closed and children like Logan had to stay at home.
But when classes resumed Miss John noticed Logan appeared different.
She said: “After Covid and after he returned to school I was in a different bubble to him as he was in reception but whenever I saw him he was happy to see me and would have a chat with me.
“I noticed his stammer got worse and noticed he had lost weight and had dark circles around his eyes.”
Ms John also gave evidence about Logan’s mum Williamson.
She said: “I could tell Angharad enjoyed being the centre of attention and was a needy person. She was constantly calling reception and complaining about Logan being released having wet himself but I knew this was not true.
“(Logan) had a healthy appetite in school. When I gave him pineapple Angharad began shouting at me saying she had an allergy to it and I should not have given it to him. She was furious about this and ranting at me, which was embarrassing due to other parents being in the vicinity. When she picked Logan up I apologised and she brushed it off laughing.
“On one occasion the school had a trip to Folly Farm and she would not allow Logan to go. I offered to pay for him to go but she refused and sent him into school for that day, but he was happy and did not feel disappointed.”
Live updates below