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Chip shop owner cleared of murder and manslaughter of wife

71-year-old Geoffrey Bran owned The Chipoteria in Carmarthenshire with his wife Mavis, 69.

A chip shop owner accused of murdering his wife with boiling chip oil has been cleared of murder and manslaughter.

Seventy-one-year-old Geoffrey Bran, who owned The Chipoteria in Carmarthenshire with his wife Mavis, told the court she had accidentally poured oil over herself during their lunchtime service tragedy.

Mrs Bran, suffered fatal burns from hot frying oil at the fish and chip shop in Hermon on October 23. The 69-year-old died in Morriston Hospital six days later.

Mavis Bran died at Morriston Hospital, six days after being burned by the hot frying oil.

In the moments after Mrs Bran was burned, she told a friend and paramedic her injuries were caused by her husband throwing boiling oil over her. But, he always maintained it was an accident.

Giving evidence at the trial, Bran said: "I turned around and saw her flying to the floor.

"I could see the fat fryer moving forward on the table. Instantly the legs fell of the edge and the weight of the oil tipped the whole thing forwards.

"The oil must have moved things fast and it was like a waterfall and landed on her chest."

Mr Bran and Mavis came out of retirement to start their roadside cafe in Hermon. Credit: Google Maps

Swansea Crown Court heard Mavis had started drinking red wine in the morning and was over the drink-drive limit at the time of the tragic accident just before 1pm.

Mavis had told a friend and a paramedic that her husband was to blame before she passed away.

Friend Caroline Morgan told the jury: "She was screaming down the phone begging for help and crying.

"She was screaming: 'Help me, help me, emergency, emergency! Geoff has thrown boiling oil over me. Help me, help me! Get here now - I'm burnt to hell'."

A court heard Mavis also told paramedic Allison Williams that her husband had attacked her.

Ms Williams said: “I asked her if she could explain what had actually happened that day.

"At that point she said: "My husband threw hot fat over me.” She just stated they’d had an argument.”

Swansea Crown Court heard the couple would often argue about "finances" and that Mavis would drink two bottles of wine a day.

Bran admitted the couple had fallen out on the day over the cleanliness of the fryers and burnt fish.

Mrs Bran's family said she is Credit: Family photo/Dyfed Powys Police

Mr and Mrs Bran, who had been married for more than 30 years, came out of retirement to start their roadside cafe called The Chipoteria in West Wales.

Today after a week long trial a jury at Swansea Crown Court returned a verdict of not guilty of murder and not guilty of manslaughter.

Following the verdict, Mrs Bran's family said she "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.

"Now that the court case is over and we finally have closure, we can rebuild our lives as a family, remembering Mavis as the fun-loving person that she was.”