The Times, January 27, 2017
An early entrant to the Silliest Intro of 2018 contest. This is a perfectly good story which doesn’t need dressing up. (Arguably if a story does need dressing up, it should be on the spike, not in the paper.)
Here, all you need to do is chop off the intro and tweak the second par to read something like this:
Detectives are investigating claims that workmen sent to cut down street trees at the centre of a dispute were poisoned by mugs of tea offered to them by residents.
It is the latest development in the Sheffield tree-felling saga, in which the council’s decision to clear 6,000 trees from the city has been fiercely resisted by campaigners.