Lewes Crown Court

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Lewes Combined Court Centre, which includes the County Court as well as the Crown Court

Coordinates: 50°52′23″N 0°00′35″E / 50.8730°N 0.0096°E / 50.8730; 0.0096

Lewes Crown Court is a Crown Court venue 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 established as East Sussex 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 Circuit Judge, known as the Resident Judge. The present Resident Judge is Her Honour Judge Shani Barnes who took over from His Honour Judge Richard Brown DL (The first Honorary Recorder of Brighton and Hove and a Senior Circuit Judge) on his retirement in 2013. 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 Recorders.

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 seriously ill child of the family) These follow on from other notorious murder trials in the past, including serial killer John George Haigh.

In April 2011 the New Sussex Opera Group were permitted to perform the Gilbert and Sullivan opera Trial by Jury in Court number one. The organiser, and one of the star performers, was former Judge Michael Kennedy QC.[citation needed]



  1. ^ "The Ultimate Crime". www.real-crime.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-10-20. 
  2. ^ Wilson, Colin; Patricia Pitman (1984). Encyclopedia of Murder. London: Pan Books. pp. 239–240. ISBN 0-330-28300-6. 
  3. ^ Albert Borowitz (2002). Blood & ink: an international guide to fact-based crime literature. Kent State University Press. p. D-43. ISBN 0-87338-693-0. 
  4. ^ F. Tennyson Jesse (1950). "Sidney Fox". In James H. Hodge. Famous Trials III. Penguin Books. pp. 43–96. 

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