Hannah Forsyth was called to the Bar in 2021. She became a tenant of Exchange Chambers in September 2022 following the successful completion of her pupillage.
Hannah has a mixed criminal practice, predominantly prosecuting and defending in the Crown Court. She has experience in in handling a wide variety of offences, including violent and sexual assault, dishonesty offences, child abduction, criminal damage, possession of offensive weapons and breaches of court orders. She has developed a reputation as a hardworking, approachable and capable advocate.
Hannah accepts instructions in motoring and vehicle crime, and has helped numerous clients facing disqualification for driving offences to retain their licenses. Hannah also has experience in private prosecution and defence work, and has successfully represented local councils in proceedings for breaches of environmental legislation.
Prior to coming to the Bar, Hannah studied History before completing her conversion course with BPP University. Alongside this, she gave lectures on human rights in homeless shelters and volunteered for the Legal Clinic and Yorkshire Tribunals Advocacy Project.
Crown Court Trials:
R v AE – led junior for the prosecution in a case involving allegations of rape and violence spanning almost 30 years against five victims. After a month long trial involving over 60 witnesses, extensive documentary evidence and audio recordings, the defendant was convicted and sentenced to an extended determinate sentence of 28 years.
R v KL and others – led junior for the first defendant on the indictment in a tobacco importation prosecution brought by HMRC. The allegation involved the fraudulent evasion of £4 million in duty payable to HMRC. The defendant was acquitted unanimously.
R v OS – instructed at short notice to defend a client facing allegations of armed robbery and threats to kill in a dwelling. After a five day trial at Burnley Crown Court, the defendant was acquitted of all charges.
R v JG – prosecuted a defendant accused of assaulting and stealing from her elderly, vulnerable partner. The case required careful examination of the complainant and the admission of complex medical evidence. The defendant was convicted.
R v AG – defended at sentence for a man who had admitted filming over 100 people in the public toilets in Manchester Airport. The defendant had multiple previous convictions for identical offending. After presenting an amount of material in mitigation to establish the efforts made by the defendant to rehabilitate himself, a six month suspended sentence was imposed.
R v SM (Operation Harington) – prosecuted an appeal against conviction for a defendant/appellant charged with taking part in protests at Elbit Technology’s factory in Oldham. This case involved evidence from Gold and Silver commanders on scene, successfully resisting a submission of no case to answer and advancing legal argument based on the findings of the Supreme Court in R v Ziegler. After a five day appeal hearing, the appeal was dismissed and the conviction was upheld.
R v YM – prosecuted an appeal against conviction of a defendant/appellant who was accused of persistently stalking a vulnerable woman living in the Wigan area. The appeal was dismissed, a lengthy sentence was passed and a restraining order was made excluding the defendant from the entirety of Wigan.
R v SH – defended in an appeal against conviction for a woman of good character accused of handling stolen goods. Through careful consideration and presentation of the defendant/appellant’s circumstances and previous experiences, the appeal tribunal accepted that her perception of the situation was not dishonest and the appeal was allowed.
R v AM – defended in an appeal against sentence for a father of two who had pleaded guilty to public order offences and drunken conduct on an aeroplane. Despite authorities indicating that these offences would typically result in immediate custodial sentences, in this case the court allowed the appeal and replaced the sentence of immediate custody with a suspended sentence.
R v DC – defended in an appeal against sentence from the Youth Court. The client had been made subject to the maximum sentence that the DJ in the Youth Court was able to pass. Through detailed submissions on the particular vulnerabilities of the client and the proper application of the recent case of R v ZA  EWCA Crim 596 on the correct approach to sentencing Youths, the Court agreed to replace the original sentence with a Youth Rehabilitative Order.
R v JH – defended in an appeal against sentence from the Youth Court for a young client with an extensive criminal record. Persuaded the Court to reduce the sentence by half due to the client’s position as a victim of modern slavery and the progress he had demonstrated since his remand.