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Chip shop owner in tears as he is cleared of killing his wife with boiling oil

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A CHIP SHOP owner has been cleared of killing his wife after he was accused of pouring scalding hot oil over her.

Geoffrey Bran, 71, was accused of pushing or throwing a deep fat fryer onto Mavis Bran at the Chipoteria in Hermon, Carmarthenshire, on 23 October last year.

Mrs Bran, 69, died six days after suffering “horrific burns” to 46% of her body.

Before her death she told a friend and paramedics that her husband had “flipped” and attacked her with the fryer because she had been “nagging him”.

Mrs Bran: Died of horrific burns

But Mr Bran has been found not guilty of the murder or manslaughter of his wife.

Mr Bran was in tears when the verdict was read out after his week-long trial at Swansea Crown Court, before judge Paul Thomas QC released him from the dock.

His wife of 38 years died from multiple organ failure after developing sepsis, hypothermia and undergoing surgery to remove some of her burned skin.

Gareth Davies, a friend who lived with the couple, told the court Mrs Bran returned home naked from the waist up with “crimson” peeling skin.

He added she was 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.

Mrs Bran: Chipoteria opened in January 2018 in a cabin near couples home

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.

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 in South Wales, including the Chipoteria which opened in January 2018 in a cabin situated next to their home.

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

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

Mrs Bran was taken by air ambulance to the burns unit at Morriston Hospital

A friend of Mrs Bran had noticed the couple’s relationship had been “deteriorating” in the months leading up to her death, 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 after drinking glasses of red wine on the afternoon she was injured.

Paramedics found she had a blood alcohol reading of 108mg/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.”

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New mobile visitor centre ready to help visitors gear up for the Pembrokeshire Coast

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Park Authority Ranger Richard Vaughan and Summer Ranger Megan Holt with the new information van at Poppit Sands.

PEOPLE visiting some of Pembrokeshire’s top beaches and events may soon encounter a new mobile information centre, with a specially converted van ready to hit the road and help people enjoy their visit.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s new information van will be set up at seaside locations and popular local events, with Rangers on hand to give advice to those who need help and suggest free activities for those looking to discover the area’s wildlife.

National Park Authority Ranger Service Manager, Libby Taylor said: “This new vehicle will help our staff provide a range of information at locations where we know many people head to enjoy the National Park.

“As well as helping people learn more about the area and the different ways they can make the most of their visit, people can also find out how they can make the least impact on the Park during their stay.

“As well as having an awning to provide shelter, the van also includes space for magnetic panels that can be changed so the information that’s most relevant to the location or event can be provided.”

The vehicle, which has been converted by local company Poppit Campers, also includes a solar panel, which will help to power two iPads, which will give members of the public a chance to find further information on subjects such as nearby walks and wildlife identification.

The purchase and conversion of the vehicle was made possible through the support of the Welsh Government.

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Community

Deadline approaching for £500 payment to unpaid carers

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THE DEADLINE to apply for a one-off £500 payment to eligible unpaid carers in Wales is rapidly approaching.

The Welsh Government scheme, administered by Pembrokeshire County Council, is open to all unpaid carers in Wales who were in receipt of Carers Allowance on 31 March 2022.

The deadline to apply is 5pm on 15th July 2022 and those who believe they are eligible are urged not to miss out.

The Council is also sending out 400 letters this week to those they believe may be eligible and who have not yet applied.

The payment is in recognition of the increased financial pressures many unpaid carers experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic and to help with some of the additional costs they have incurred. 

The payment is targeted towards those individuals who care for someone for at least 35 hours a week and have low incomes.

You will not be eligible for the payment if:

  • You have an underlying entitlement to Carers Allowance but do not receive a payment because you are in receipt of another benefit at the same or higher rate; or
  • You only receive the carer premium  

If you have already applied please be assured the Council is working its way through the applications as quickly as possible.

How to apply

Applicants (this should be the person in receipt of carer’s allowance)

are required to complete the online form at: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/grants/unpaid-carers-500-pound-payment

Required information is:

  • Your name, address, telephone number and email address
  • Date of Birth
  • National Insurance Number
  • Post code
  • A bank statement showing your name, address, account number and sort code

If you are having problems completing the on-line application form please email: UnpaidCarers@pembrokeshire.gov.uk alternatively call 01437 764551 for assistance.

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Crime

Lola James: Two people have denied charges in connection of the death of 2-year-old

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TWO people who have been charged in connection with the death of a Haverfordwest toddler have denied charges.

30-year-old Kyle Bevan of Aberystwyth, denied a charge of murder at Swansea Crown Court.

Lola’s mum Sinead James, 29, denied a charge of causing or allowing the death of a child.

Lola died in Hospital on July 21, 2020, four days after sustaining a severe head injury at her home address in Princess Royal Way, Haverfordwest.

Bevan was remanded into custody.

James was released on conditional bail.

The trial will take place in 2023 and Judge Thomas said it is expected to last four weeks.

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