After all the witnesses have given their evidence, the barristers will give their closing comments to the jury. The judge will then summarise the evidence and arguments from both parties and explain legal issues for the jury. This is called the judge’s charge.

The jury will then leave the courtroom to consider its verdict. There is no set time limit for the jury to make its decision and this can be a difficult and nervous time for victims and their family members.

If you want to be present for the verdict or you have any concerns while waiting for the verdict, you can speak with the informant, Office of Public Prosecutions’ (OPP) solicitor or Witness Assistance Service (WAS) worker. They will contact you as soon as they hear from the court about when the verdict will be read out.

If the accused person is found guilty, there will be a plea hearing before a judge. The judge will impose the sentence at a separate hearing called a sentencing hearing. These hearings may be on another day.