Imagine you broke into a house.
You find a chest of drawers. Which drawer would you open first?
Once upon a time, a little girl watched Crown Court on the telly and hoped to become a barrister.
The girl grew up and decided she would prefer to be a defence barrister righting wrongs and giving a voice to those who struggled to find one.
As a teenager, the girl is told she has an “outside chance” of getting into Cambridge.
The teenager picks the college whose prospectus says that the “ducks are nice”. Amazingly, she gets into the college of her choice.
The 18 year old is delighted to find that Criminal Law is compulsory. She climbs a staircase and queues up with C, D and J her peers a little daunted by the posh schools they attended.
A lovely man welcomes the 4 students into his room.
He checks that they are warm enough and adjusts the fire accordingly. This becomes a weekly ritual.
The man is intelligent, a leader in his field.
Yet he does not crow about his knowledge but shares it generously with his students.
Sexual crimes are discussed. The girl is embarrassed. She has no real concept of some of the terms discussed. She blushes furiously. Who wants to talk about oral sex when they don’t really know what it involves? Throw in fetishes and sado-masochism and it is all a bit much for the good Catholic girl. C seems more au fait with things. The girl fancies first J and then D and that only adds to the blushes.
The girl unlike her peers returns to that room for 3 years covering Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Evidence and Criminology.
She learns that it is PCEA not PACE like the crime dramas say.
She understands that women have a very different experience to prison that that of men. She realises that women are punished for stepping out of female stereotypes as much as for doing wrong.
As a 44 year old, the girl watches a programme on Broadmoor yesterday still fascinated by all things crime-related.
And then today an email bounces into her inbox telling her the sad news that her supervisor died yesterday.
A lovely man.
A kind man.
A man whose teachings still inform her conversations.
And the answer to the question.
A good burglar opens the bottom drawer because it saves time. Think about it!
Just one of the things the girl learned from the man in question.
The girl did not pursue a legal career but the girl is pleased she thinks in certain ways and is grateful for having the tutor in her life.
Rest in Peace.