A mother who murdered her five-year-old son has been refused permission to appeal against her conviction.
Angharad Williamson was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 28 years behind bars for her part in the brutal killing of Logan Mwangi.
The schoolboy was beaten to death and then callously tossed in a river while Williamson, 30, played the part of a distraught mum looking for her missing child.
Williamson, her partner John Cole, and Cole's teenage stepson Craig Mulligan were all convicted of murder at trial in Cardiff Crown Court. However, Williamson subsequently launched a legal bid to appeal against her conviction.
Her initial application for permission to appeal the case - known as leave to appeal - was rejected, and the matter was taken to the Court of Appeal, Wales Online reports.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Swansea Crown Court on Wednesday heard the renewed application and permission was refused again.
Logan suffered catastrophic injuries at the family home in Bridgend, south Wales, in July 2021. In court his injuries were compared to those usually found in people involved in high-speed car crashes or in falls from great height.
The trial heard the injuries and the suffering of the child "would have been obvious to those who inflicted the injuries". Only three people were in the flat when Logan was killed - Williamson, Cole, aged 41; and 13-year-old Mulligan - but each denied assaulting the boy, insisting they knew nothing about what had happened.
After he was beaten to death, the body of Logan was carried the short distance to the Ogmore River and dumped into the water. The trio then cynically pretended the little boy had gone missing. You can read the full prosecution case again Williamson, Cole and Mulligan here. The defendants were also sentenced for attempting to pervert the course of justice in relation to their attempted cover-up of the murder. The defendants were each sentenced to life imprisonment - detention in the case of Mulligan - with Williamson given a minimum term of 28 years, Cole 29 years, and Mulligan 15 years.
The Court of Appeal heard that Williamson was seeking leave to appeal against her conviction on the grounds that evidence relating to her partner Cole had not been allowed to be put before the jury by trial judge Mrs Justice Jefford.
Peter Rouch KC, for Williamson, submitted that bad character evidence about co-defendant Cole in regard to his alleged "deep-seated" racist beliefs should have gone before the jury - the barrister said Logan was of mixed heritage and evidence about Cole's beliefs would have assisted jurors when they came to consider motivation for the deadly assault. The barrister also contended that evidence about Cole's alleged previous domestic violence should have gone before the jury, as should details of his previous convictions which would allegedly have shown a "propensity" to violence.
The court heard that details of his past convictions were in fact put before the jury but only in the form of agreed facts after Williamson had said, in her evidence, that Cole had boasted about his violent past and that she was scared of him. In fact Cole's antecedent record showed he had not been given an Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentence as a dangerous offender as Williamson contended he had told her.
The application for leave to appeal the conviction was refused by the Court of Appeal. The Lord Chief Justice of England of Wales, Lord Maldon - who was siting with Mrs Justice Stacey and Mr Justice Wall - said the court was "unpersuaded that the grounds put forward by the appellant were arguable".
He said the original trial judge had been fully entitled to conclude that the evidence Williamson's legal team sought to introduce did not have significant "probative value", and her ruling on not allowing the evidence to be put before the jury had been "in truth, impeccable".
Lord Maldon said: "This renewed application for leave to appeal against conviction must be dismissed."