Mavis Bran chip shop death: Husband 'put ranting wife in chair'

Image source, Heno
Image caption,
Mavis Bran died six days after sustaining severe burns at the chip shop

A man accused of murdering his wife in their chip shop sometimes "put her in a chair" when she "went off on a rant", he told a court.

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

Mrs Bran died in Morriston Hospital six days after suffering severe burns from a deep fat fryer.

At Swansea Crown Court, Mr Bran denied injuring his wife or being aggressive.

He has claimed she sustained the burns when the fryer accidentally fell, while prosecutors say he "threw boiling oil" on his wife.

He told the court "putting her in the chair" was "the only way to shut her up".

"She goes off on a rant and at the end of the day you don't even know what she's ranting about. Most of the time I'd walk away."

Image source, Athena Pictures
Image caption,
The couple ran The Chipoteria in Carmarthenshire, one of a number of businesses they owned

The jury heard Mr Bran told detectives there had been an argument about burnt fish on the morning of 23 October 2018.

Prosecutor Paul Lewis reminded Mr Bran about a police interview when he said "there might have been a few words" and "she was pretty mad".

But he told the court the pair just spoke "in normal fashion", adding there had been "no arguments at all that day - nothing whatsoever".

"She was in a good mood," he added.

Image source, Wales News Service
Image caption,
Geoffrey Bran denies murdering his wife

Mr Lewis also asked about evidence given by Mrs Bran's friend Caroline Morgan, who said she feared her husband would kill her.

"No, I never threatened her. Never threatened anyone in my life," Mr Bran replied.

In his closing speeches, Mr Lewis said Mr Bran "hid away" to clean up the crime scene rather than getting help.

"Even if we had been burned with a little bit of hot oil, the first thing we would do is get medical attention, call 999, put them in a car and drive them to A&E, or at the very least put an arm around them and say someone else has called an ambulance," he said.

Image caption,
Flowers have been left on the gate of the chip shop

Instead, he added Mr Bran put the fryer back together, moved his wife's clothes and cleaned up the shop while Mrs Bran "suffered in the house just yards away".

"Was it an accident, or as we allege, her husband deliberately threw hot oil over her?" he said.

The trial continues.

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