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Mavis Bran died six days after sustaining severe burns at the chip shop

A man accused of murdering his wife at their chip shop told police he did not throw boiling oil over her, a court has heard.

Geoffrey Bran, 71, denies murdering his wife Mavis Bran, 69, in Hermon, Carmarthenshire, on 23 October 2018.

Mrs Bran died in Morriston Hospital six days after suffering burns.

Swansea Crown Court heard Mr Bran told detectives in the weeks following her death he had not lost his temper following an argument about burnt fish.

He has claimed Mrs Bran sustained the burns in an accident.

The court heard when paramedics arrived at Bryn Tawel, the family home, Mrs Bran had a blood alcohol reading of 108 mg/dl. The current drink drive limit in England and Wales is 80mg/dl.

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Athena Pictures

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The couple ran The Chipoteria in Carmarthenshire, one of a number of businesses they owned

When asked whether he threw oil over his wife at The Chipoteria in Hermon, Mr Bran told detectives: “I would not throw oil over anybody.”

He was asked why he did not follow Mrs Bran back to their house after she was injured, and replied: “There was nothing I could do”, adding he did not call for an ambulance because he believed their lodger was doing so.

Steven Jeffery, a consultant burns and plastic surgeon, agreed with the pathologist’s report that Mrs Bran’s eyes were closed when her face was burnt.

“The eyes were actually scrunched up,” he said.

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Wales News Service

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Geoffrey Bran denies murdering his wife

Prof Jeffery was asked whether Mrs Bran’s burns could have been sustained by her falling to the floor and pulling the fryer down over herself.

“This version of events is consistent with her injuries,” he said.

He also agreed her injuries may have been caused by oil being thrown at her in an assault.

Prof Jeffrey said there were no cuts or bruises to suggest Mrs Bran had pulled the fryer on top of herself.

Christopher Clee QC, defending Mr Bran, said:  “If it’s an act of throwing, he’s more likely to have splashed himself with oil. There’s no evidence of that?”

“No,” Prof Jeffery replied.

He confirmed burns on Mr Bran’s fingertips were consistent with his version of events.

Mr Bran denies murder and the case continues.

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