A mother who murdered her five-year-old son has lost a Court of Appeal bid to challenge her conviction.
Angharad Williamson, 31, from Sarn, Bridgend, was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing Logan Mwangi after a trial at Cardiff Crown Court last year.
Williamson, Logan’s stepfather John Cole, 41, and 14-year-old Craig Mulligan were all convicted of murdering the youngster.
The 10-week trial revealed how Logan was subjected to horrific mental suffering, physical assaults and suffered a catalogue of injuries before his death.
The trio were also found to have conspired to cover-up the murder, claiming to police that Logan had gone missing despite CCTV showing Cole and Mulligan dumping his body in the nearby River Ogmore in Pandy Park during the early hours of July 31, 2021.
Peter Rouch KC, representing Williamson, put forward an application to appeal against his client’s conviction before the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, alongside Mr Justice Wall and Mrs Justice Stacey, at Swansea Crown Court on Wednesday.
Williamson did not appear for the hearing in person or by video-link from prison.
Mr Rouch argued that evidence of Cole’s bad character, including his alleged racist views, his alleged history of domestic violence towards previous partners and the details of his previous violent convictions, including an assault against a child, should have been put before the jury.
He said that if the jury had been “aware of the underlying hostility” Cole may have had towards Logan, that may have impacted its decision on who was responsible for the physical attacks on the boy.
Two people gave statements to the prosecution alleging that Cole was “very racist” and had been a member of the National Front, a fascist political party, in his early 20s.
One of the statements claimed Cole would have made Logan’s life “hell” on account of him being a mixed-race child.
The original trial judge, Justice Nerys Jefford, excluded this evidence because she said it was too historic.
The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon, said the three judges upheld the decision and dismissed the application.
He said: “The application contends that the trial judge was wrong to exclude the bad character evidence of John Cole which would have assisted the jury in deciding who inflicted the injuries which caused Logan’s death.
“Like the single judge, we are unpersuaded that the grounds of the appeal are arguable.
“The alleged racist beliefs were 15 years old or more, and there is no evidence that racism played a part in his murder.
“The evidence related to violence towards his previous partners were events that happened 15 years or more ago and there is no evidence of violence in the intervening period.
“The previous convictions for violence were also old, the offences committed when Cole was a young man.
“In our judgment, the judge was fully entitled to conclude that none of this evidence had substantial probative value and it did not establish a propensity for violence.
“In truth, her evaluation was impeccable. Therefore this application must be dismissed.
“The exceptionally distressing circumstances of Logan’s murder is likely to be seared on the memories of people in this part of Wales and more widely.
“He had been subjected to the most appalling violence to his head and body, and his internal injuries were the sort found in people who had fallen from a height or been involved in a high-speed car accident.
“There’s no doubt whatsoever that Logan had been murdered while all three of those convicted were in the house.
“The prosecution case was that this was a classic case of joint enterprise and although they were unable to say who delivered the blows that killed Logan, that was not the significant issue.”
At trial, Williamson said she was asleep when the attacks on Logan happened and only became aware he was no longer in the house when she awoke at around 5am that morning.
Videos were shown to the jury of lights switching on and off and curtains being opened and closed while Cole and Mulligan were out disposing of Logan’s body, which they said showed she was awake and aware of what had taken place.
Cole argued he had no involvement in Logan’s death and claimed he only became aware when he was woken up by Williamson. He said he took part in the cover-up out of fear.
Both accounts were disbelieved by the jury.