Man accused of murdering wife claims she poured scalding oil over herself
South Wales - A fish and chip shop owner has been cleared of killing his "nagging" wife by throwing scalding oil over her.
Mavis Bran, 69, suffered severe burns to 46 per cent of her body and died six days after the accident last October.
Geoffrey Bran, 71, was accused of throwing one of three fryers on top of her. But he told the court his wife of 30 years had slipped and pulled the scalding hot oil onto herself "like a waterfall" as she went down.
The accused said she had been "blaming me for years for anything that goes wrong" and she had falsely accused him over her injuries.
The court heard Mrs Bran would drink up to 15 bottles of wine a week and would have a small glass with breakfast after starting earlier and earlier.
Steven Jeffrey, a consultant plastic surgeon, agreed her burns could have been sustained by her falling and pulling the fryer over herself.
He said: "This version of events is consistent with her injuries."
On Tuesday a Swansea Crown Court jury cleared Mr Bran, who has children from a previous relationship, of both murder and manslaughter.
Mr Bran said: "The loss of Mavis has left the family devastated."
The family added: "Mavis lost her life in such a tragic way doing the job she loved."
"She was the matriarch of the family and is missed every day."
Mrs Bran’s sister, Susan James, said: "We are happy for Geoff. It was one of those situations. We have got the result he hoped for."
A source close to the investigation said Mr Bran might reopen the chip shop in Hermon, Carmarthenshire, South Wales, as he is "a hard-working man".
The couple had lived in the village for around ten years and won permission to open The Chipoteria next to their home in 2017. But on October 23 last year tragedy struck.
Gareth Davies, who lived with the couple, was at home when Mrs Bran returned to the house naked from the waist up. Mrs Bran called her friend Caroline Morgan saying: "Please help me, emergency, emergency. Please get here. Geoff has thrown boiling oil over me." She died in hospital from complications from severe burns and her husband was charged over her death. Mrs Morgan admitted Mrs Bran, her friend of 20 years, was "always nagging" Mr Bran.
She also claimed Mrs Bran rang her once saying she was "scared for her life and was afraid he was going to kill her".
But she said the husband was the calmer of the two and she had heard Mrs Bran threatening to kill him or wishing that he was dead.
Mrs Morgan confessed that she "did not know whether to believe’ Mrs Bran when she claimed that her spouse had covered her in oil.
She said: "I did not know if Geoff could do something like that. But because she said it over and over again I began to believe her."
The accused told police his wife used would ‘lose all reason’. He said the wine and tablets she had been taking for high blood pressure could lead to "very aggressive behaviour".
He added: "She might pick something up and throw it." The couple and their chippy once featured on the Welsh evening magazine TV show Heno.Daily Mail