Appeal to the Crown Court
As well as conducting trials, Crown Courts can hear appeals from the Magistrates Court. If there was a trial that resulted in a conviction, then this can be an appeal against the Conviction or Sentence. If there was a guilty plea, then generally there can be an appeal against sentence only.
When there is an appeal, it will be heard by any Crown Court Judge sitting with two magistrates. Uniquely in English Criminal Law, an appeal is by way of re-hearing.
This means that on an appeal against conviction, everything proceeds as it did in the magistrates court; the Prosecution call their evidence, then the Defence, then there are speeches and the Judge and magistrates decide.
In an appeal against sentence, the Prosecution read out the facts and the Defence can ‘mitigate’ – put forward reasons relating to the offence or the offender…
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