After all the evidence is heard, the two sides can only comment on the evidence with the leave of the court. Such leave will usually only be given where the evidence is complex or a complicated legal issue arises. After hearing all the evidence and these addresses, the magistrate has the duty, without referring to any other person or body, to decide the matter. In some cases, the magistrate may adjourn the case to consider the verdict, but normally the verdict will be given straight away.

If there is any reasonable doubt whether or not the defendant is guilty of the offence charged, the magistrate will dismiss the charge, and allow the defendant to go free. If, however, the magistrate is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty they will find the offence proved and will then consider what penalty should be applied.

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