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Chip shop owner Geoffrey Bran 'murdered wife by throwing boiling oil over her', court hears

Geoffrey Bran is on trial at Swansea Crown Court

A man has denied murdering his wife by burning her with oil from a deep fat fryer, a court has heard.

71-year-old Geoffrey Bran is on trial accused of killing Mavis Bran in October last year.

Mrs Bran, 69, suffered severe burns to her body and died six days later from multiple organ failure after the incident in the couple's chip shop in Carmarthenshire.

The couple of 30 years owned commercial properties and businesses in south Wales, including the chip shop, ‘Chipoteria’.

They opened the shop in January 2018 in a cabin next to their home.

Mavis Bran died in hospital six days after the incident

The prosecution allege that financial pressures meant that their marriage was often strained. They were described as having “short tempers” and they “always argued, swearing and shouting at each other.”

The court heard, a friend of Mrs Bran had noticed their relationship was “deteriorating” and had received a phone call from Mavis saying her husband was “getting nasty”.

Another friend, Gareth Davies, said he saw Mrs Bran with "skin peeling off her wrists" who told him “I’ve had hot fat all over me”.

Mr Bran told Mr Davies his wife had slipped and grabbed the fryer whilst cooking, causing it to come out of the holder and spill over her.

But Mrs Bran called her friend, Caroline Morgan, and said on the phone: "Geoff has thrown boiling oil over me. Please get here, I need you now, help."

Mrs Bran allegedly told Miss Morgan of her husband: "I was nagging him and he flipped."

She was taken by air ambulance to the burns unit at Morriston Hospital in Swansea, where doctors found she has suffered burns to 46% of her body.

Bran was initially arrested on suspicion of assault and denied attacking his wife, telling police: "She got burned with the chip fryer. She slipped and it came off the top and went over her. Don't ask."

Later he said she had become angry because a fryer was dirty and four fish had been spoiled. He said she lost her temper so she threw the fish which caused hot oil to fly through the air and caused the fat fryer to spill all over her.

He denies murdering her and the trial continues.