Crown court

The most serious criminal cases such as murder, rape and robbery are heard in the crown court.

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The most serious criminal cases such as murder, rape and robbery are heard in the Crown Court.

Cases are sometimes passed from the Magistrates' Court to the Crown Court for trial or sentencing.

The cases sent to the Crown Court from the Magistrates' Court may have been done so at the defendant's request or the magistrates may have chosen to send the case to the Crown Court because their sentencing powers do not allow them to set a severe enough sentence.

The Crown Court will also deal with appeals against a conviction or a sentence made in the Magistrates' Court.

The Crown Court has a judge and will normally have a jury. The jury will decide on the verdict and the judge will ensure the trial is fair and decide on the sentence. The sentence can include community sentences or prison sentences. Fines and prison sentences in the Crown Court are more severe than those in the Magistrates' Court.

A High Court Judge will hear the most serious offences such as treason in the Crown Court.

Class 2 or less serious cases such as rape will be heard by a Circuit Judge under the authority of the Presiding Judge.

A Circuit Judge or Recorder will usually deal with all other types of offences such as burglary, gbh and robbery.

Appeals will usually be heard by a Circuit Judge who will normally sit with two, but no more than four, magistrates.

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