Those Were the Days A student at Leeds University, at the end of the 50s, I found a holiday job at a local factory, making jam. The first fellow worker I met was Kevin, operating the snuffing machine, topping and tailing gooseberries. I was sure Kevin could snuff a lot more than fruit. He had a wrestler’s build, with trapezius muscles that sloped like the sides of a mountain to bulging deltoids. He told me he was a recidivist whose last sentence was five years in the choky for killing a gay man who made a pass at him, then illegal. “Only five years! Astonishing! I don’t believe it! How come?” “Because” he said, “I used the Portsmouth Defence.” I wasn’t versed in legal matters; he enlightened me. It was also known as the “Guardsman’s Defence” as well as the “Gay Panic Defence”. It appealed to the prejudiced jurors of the day. If accepted in court, the perp could be treated more leniently and escape the noose. He grinned at me and winked. A shiver ran down my spine as I hastily assured him that I had a fiancée and showed him a photo of her.