The Crown Court is a senior court which
- holds trials of more serious criminal offences;
- deals with sentencing in cases where the defendant has either pleaded guilty already, or been convicted and referred for sentencing by a magistrate’s court because of the relative seriousness of the offence;
- hears appeals from magistrates’ courts.
Most trials in the Crown Court are conducted with a jury. Depending on the type of case, the judge will be either a High Court judge (J), a Circuit Judge (HHJ), or a part-time judge known as a Recorder.
The Crown Court is a single entity, which sits in a number of locations. It is therefore more accurate to speak of the Crown Court at Reading than Reading Crown Court. Its most famous and senior location is the Central Criminal Court (CCC) at Old Bailey in London, often referred to simply as The Bailey.