i newspaper, November 19, 2020

(51 words) Here’s a guessing game. You are the sub handling this story and you need a headline. Given that the purpose of a headline is to attract readers to the story, what would be the most attention-grabbing line you could think of? The chilli sauce? The age of the victim?

This is what the sub came up with:

I laughed aloud when I saw it. There is even room on the top line for chilli.

That’s just the start. Court reports should state the name of the court, the charge and the plea. It is usual to give an indication of where the defendant is from.

This is how I would have done it:

Robber jailed for chilli
attack on woman, 90

A serial robber who broke into a 90-year-old Birmingham woman’s house and sprayed her face with hot chilli sauce has been jailed for nine years at the city’s Crown Court. Mohammed Nawaz, 52, of no fixed address, admitted attempted robbery and administering a noxious substance. He has 36 previous convictions. (50 words)

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