Woody Allen said of crime that the hours were good and you meet a lot of interesting people. I don’t know about the hours, but you do come across some fascinating types in my line of work. Among the strangest are those who resort to extreme violence at the flick of a mental switch — people whom, if they possess a gun, simply cannot avoid firing it.
I’m a criminal barrister, and I remember a case in which a man changed his baby’s dirty nappy and went to put it in the bin. It was raining, and he was barefoot, so he lobbed it from a distance. Unfortunately, it sailed over the bin, and the fence, and landed messily on his neighbour’s doorstep.
The neighbour, whom I shall call Smith, feigned fury but he was secretly delighted; no hole was ever burned in a pocket like that burned by a loaded revolver.