Lewes Crown Court

Lewes Crown Court

Lewes Crown Court

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Lewes Crown Court is a Crown Court in Lewes, East Sussex, England. It is housed in the Lewes Combined Court Centre which it shares with Lewes County Court in the Lewes High Street. The Portland stone building, originally a County Hall, was designed by John Johnson and built between 1808 and 1812.


It is the first tier Crown Court Centre for the whole of Sussex and is presided over by a Senior Circuit Judge, known as the Resident Judge. The present Resident Judge is His Honour Judge Richard Brown DL who also holds the title of Honorary Recorder of Brighton & Hove. He has been in post for 15 years. There are 4 Crown courts at Lewes, 4 at Hove and 2 in Brighton, making it a 10 Crown court centre. There are about 10 full time Circuit Judges based at the Centre, and they are assisted from time to time by part time Judges, known as Recorder.

A number of very high profile criminal trials have taken place at Lewes including the case of Roy Whiting (convicted of the murder of Sarah Payne), Graham Coutts (convicted of the murder of schoolteacher Jane Longhurst), Andrew Wragg (manslaughter of a seriusly ill child of the family) These follow on from other notorious murder trials in the past, including serial killer John George Haigh.

The Crown Court holds an open day in September of each year. The public can visit the whole of the building. This includes the cells, the docks in each court and even the Judges chair. In September 2009 3500 people visited the Crown Court, a...
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