'We've not done anything wrong' - Sheffield tree campaigners caught up in 'tea gate' row hit back at claim they poisoned workers

Dr. John Unwin and his wife Susan Unwin.Picture: Marie Caley/The Star
Dr. John Unwin and his wife Susan Unwin.Picture: Marie Caley/The Star
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A Sheffield couple accused of handing poisoned drinks to tree fellers have hit back at the 'ridiculous allegation'.

Tree campaigners Dr John Unwin and wife Sue said they were 'shocked' to be visited at their Totley home by police.

The pair said they spoke to detectives on a voluntarily basis and insisted they had done nothing wrong.

They said the incident dated back to October when they were asked to make two teas and an orange juice for workers felling trees outside their house.

Three men are said to have fallen ill and the only commonality police said was the drinks.

The couple, who have been campaigning to save trees from the chop close to their home on Chatsworth Road, even had their cupboards searched for laxatives.

Sue said she had made cups of tea for Amey workers on 'more than one' occasion but said it was only as a 'delay tactic'.

The 59-year-old said: "It's the most ridiculous allegation I've heard in my life.

"We've just been concentrating on our local campaign here on Chatsworth Road.

"All we did was make two cups of tea and some orange squash - we've done no more.

It's a very serious allegation and it's very upsetting they should think we would even consider doing something like that to anyone - I wouldn't do that to my worst enemy.

"We've always been very friendly to everyone that arrives on the street and giving them a cup of tea is a way to stop them chopping a tree down for five minutes

"I'm just appalled that they would think me and my husband would do something so evil as that."

John added: "I think it's just another part of the jigsaw of trying to make the protesters look bad.

"They've had quite a lot of patience with the protesters and that's running out now."

A South Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: "Officers have carried out forensic tests and have spoken to a number of witnesses regarding this matter and inquiries are ongoing."

The council says the trees are either dead, dying, diseased, dangerous or damaging the highway. But campaigners say many healthy trees are being felled for profit and the council are ignoring the recommendations of an independent panel.