Chip shop owner, 71, weeps when jury clears him of murdering his 'nagging' 69-year-old wife by tipping a vat of boiling fat over her as his sister-in-law says family 'got the result he hoped for'

  • Geoffrey Bran, 71, cleared of murdering wife Mavis, 69, by scalding her with oil 
  • His wife died in hospital after suffering burns at the couple's takeaway in Wales
  • A jury took four-and-a half hours to decide that Bran was not guilty of her murder
  • Bran showed no emotion but thanked the jury with a wave before leaving court 

Geoffrey Bran, 71, (pictured right outside Swansea Crown Court today) of Hermon, Carmarthenshire has been cleared of murdering his wife of 38 years Mavis Bran, 69. A jury took four-and-a half hours to decide that Bran was not guilty of murder

Geoffrey Bran, 71, (pictured right outside Swansea Crown Court today) of Hermon, Carmarthenshire has been cleared of murdering his wife of 38 years Mavis Bran, 69. A jury took four-and-a half hours to decide that Bran was not guilty of murder

A chip shop owner wept today as a jury cleared him of murdering his 'nagging' wife by pouring boiling fat over her - as her family welcomed the decision saying they 'have got the result he hoped for'.  

Geoffrey Bran, 71, was accused of pushing or throwing a deep fat fryer onto Mavis Bran, his wife of 38 years, leaving her with horrific burns that led to her death six days later. 

Before she died, Mrs Bran told a friend and paramedics that her husband had 'flipped' and attacked her with the fryer because she had been 'nagging him' inside the Chipoteria chip shop in the rural village of Hermon, Carmarthenshire. 

But on Tuesday, a jury found Mr Bran not guilty of murder or manslaughter following a week-long trial. 

Speaking after the verdict, Mavis 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.'

Geoff Bran walked free after a jury believed his wife's death was an accident - and not that he hurled the scalding oil at her.

He waved to the jury before walking free from court.

Mr Bran was in tears as the jury at Swansea Crown Court read out their not guilty verdict, before judge Paul Thomas QC released him from the dock.

Mrs Bran died from multi-organ failure in hospital six days after suffering 'horrific burns' to 46 per cent of her body after developing sepsis and hypothermia and undergoing surgery to remove some of her burned skin. 

Mavis Bran (pictured) suffered burns to 46 per cent of her body and died in Morriston Hospital in Swansea six days after sustaining the injuries on October 23 last year

Mavis Bran (pictured) suffered burns to 46 per cent of her body and died in Morriston Hospital in Swansea six days after sustaining the injuries on October 23 last year

The incident was alleged to have happened at The Chipoteria, a roadside fish and chip shop in Hermon, Carmarthenshire (pictured)

The incident was alleged to have happened at The Chipoteria, a roadside fish and chip shop in Hermon, Carmarthenshire (pictured)

Lodger Gareth Davies told the court Mrs Bran returned to her home naked from the waist up with 'crimson' peeling skin around 1pm on October 23 last year, shouting 'I've been burned' and 'I've had boiling hot fat all over me'.

Mrs Bran then rang her friend, Caroline Morgan, telling her: 'Geoff has thrown boiling oil over me. Please get here, I need you now, help.'

Miss Morgan said she found Mrs Bran 'shocked' and 'shaking' and told Mr Davies to call for an ambulance, before telling Mr Bran, who was still serving customers, to shut the chip shop.

Miss Morgan told the court Mrs Bran said: 'I was nagging him and he flipped.'

She was taken by air ambulance to the burns unit at Morriston Hospital in Swansea.

Bran (pictured at a fish and chip shop he ran alongside wife Mavis) showed no emotion was he was cleared but thanked the jury with a wave before leaving court

Bran (pictured at a fish and chip shop he ran alongside wife Mavis) showed no emotion was he was cleared but thanked the jury with a wave before leaving court 

Mr Bran claimed his wife (pictured) had previously spread lies about him, and suggested she was 'halfway' to being drunk on the afternoon she was injuries after drinking glasses of red wine

Mr Bran claimed his wife (pictured) had previously spread lies about him, and suggested she was 'halfway' to being drunk on the afternoon she was injuries after drinking glasses of red wine 

Mr 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.'

The couple, who had no children together, owned around 10 businesses around South Wales, including the Chipoteria which opened in January 2018 in a cabin situated next to their home in the small West Wales village.

The court heard that financial pressures of their various businesses would sometimes put a strain on their marriage, leading to arguments about money.

People who knew the couple were said to have described them as having 'short tempers' and 'always argued, swearing and shouting at each other'.

Mr Bran (pictured outside court today) said his wife must have been 'confused' when blaming him but said he 'couldn't find an answer' as to why he then ignored her for more than two hours after she was hurt

Mr Bran (pictured outside court today) said his wife must have been 'confused' when blaming him but said he 'couldn't find an answer' as to why he then ignored her for more than two hours after she was hurt

In the months leading up to her death, a friend of Mrs Bran had noticed the couple's relationship had been 'deteriorating', with Mrs Bran phoning friend Miss Morgan in tears saying 'he's getting nasty'.

Mr Bran claimed his wife had previously spread lies about him, and suggested she was 'halfway' to being drunk on the afternoon she was injured after drinking glasses of red wine.

Paramedics found she had a blood alcohol reading of 108 mg/dl, higher than the drink-drive limit of 80mg/dl.

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

He told the court he loved and missed his wife, despite telling police in an interview: 'It's a miracle we lasted that long. But we used to get on OK. We've had our ups and downs.'  

A jury took four-and-a half hours to decide that Bran was not guilty of murder. He thanked the jury with a wave before leaving court. 

Outside court, Mr Bran stood next to a family spokesman as she read out a statement asking that they be allowed to 'get on with our lives'.

The spokeswoman said: 'As a family we would just like to say thank you to everybody who has supported us in the last year. Family, friends and our legal team who have shown great compassion, professionalism, and positivity over this trying time.

'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.'

Chip shop owner cleared of murdering his 'nagging' 69-year-old wife by tipping boiling fat over her 

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