Judges are the ultimate arbiters of human conduct. With fiercely independent minds they are appointed to pass final judgement and to determine and shape societal perceptions of what is right and what it wrong.
But recent events have thrown that tradition up in the air.
The evidence was presented and the closing arguments were made and the country heard what it is to burgle: an act requiring nerve and a "huge amount of courage."
That's what Judge Peter Bowers said was sentencing a serial burglar who has now been released under a 2 year supervision order with community service.
Passing judgement Judge Bowers did have the sense to anticipate a public pillorying and he was justly rewarded for his ill-conceived words and judicial determination.
His distasteful comments have since provoked a nation-wide backlash and with complaints flowing in his position look rather tenuous.
Prime Minister David Cameron settled things down a little when he rebuked the Judge's decision and remarks, making it very clear, and confirming what we had thought all along: that burglary is pure cowardice.
And to that it has been announced that an official investigation will look into the in-court incident.
But if I had my way I'd have the Judge himself in the dock for incitement to burgle and for aiding and abetting.
Judge Bowers' misplaced utterance was an affront to the victims and our nation's collective notion of what is good and bad. His remarks seemingly condone burglary and appear as an encouragement of the deed.
I wouldn't be surprised if a load of angry and disgruntled young men and criminals felt a sense of empowerment knowing that breaking into houses requires nerve and courage.
And with men and women fired up by the judge's words I certainly wouldn't be shocked if burglaries spiked in the coming weeks.
Ultimately Judge Bowers has gravely undermined the public confidence in Britain's judicial system but my hope is that a British tribunal will restore a sense of trust and confidence and remove Judge Bowers from his post.