The chairman of the Sentencing Council has called on magistrates to send fewer ?either way? offences to the Crown court. The number of such cases reaching the Crown court rose from 310,000 in 2007 to 353,000 in 2010.

Lord Justice Leveson told the House of Commons Justice Committee last month that the Sentencing Council is recommending that magistrates do not take the prosecution case at its most extreme when deciding whether to hear cases.

?I hope and believe that magistrates will be more prepared to accept jurisdiction,? Leveson told MPs.

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