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Chip shop owner accused of killing wife by covering her in boiling oil is cleared of murder

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A fish and chip shop owner, who was accused of killing his wife by pouring boiling oil over her during a row, has been cleared of murder.

Geoffrey Bran, 71, was charged with killing Mavis, his wife of 38-years, after she suffered horrific burns to 46 per cent of her body following an incident at their Carmarthenshire takeaway business in October 2018.

Before she died, Mrs Bran told friends she feared her husband would kill her one day, and following the incident, told paramedics he had “flipped” and attacked her with boiling oil because she had been nagging him.

But Mr Bran told Swansea Crown Court that his wife had slipped and pulled a deep fat fryer over herself.

During the trial the jury was told that Mrs Bran was a heavy drinker, who had been over the legal drink drive limit on the day she was hurt.

The couple who were married in 1984, but never had any children, were said to have a volatile relationship which had deteriorated during the final few months.

Friends described the couple as having “short tempers” and said they were constantly arguing and shouting at each other.

The prosecution claimed that following the accident, Mr Bran had not assisted his wife and instead of calling an ambulance had continued to serve customers.

Steven Jeffrey, a consultant plastic surgeon and burns specialist, agreed that Mr Bran’s explanation that his wife had fallen was plausible, telling the court: “This version of events is consistent with her injuries.”

Mr Bran said his wife must have been “confused” when blaming him but admitted he “couldn’t find an answer” as to why he then ignored her for more than two hours after she was hurt.

After being taken to hospital Mrs Bran underwent surgery to remove some of her burned skin, but she developed sepsis and hypothermia and died from multiple organ failure.

The jury cleared Mr Bran of murder and manslaughter following a week long trial.

Outside court, a family spokesman, who was stood next to Mr Bran, said: “The loss of Mavis has left the family devastated and we ask that we can now get on with our lives and grieve properly without further intrusion.”

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