About MSA

Our expertise

Key Members of Staff;

Richard Sleeman BSc (Hons), PhD, CSci, CChem, FRSC, MFSSoc:
Scientific Director 

Dr Sleeman is one of the founders of Mass Spec Analytical Ltd. and currently holds the position of Scientific Director. Dr. Sleeman obtained his PhD from the University of Bristol. He is a member of the Academy of Experts, and has been a Law Society Checked Expert Witness since 1997. He is a member of the Management Advisory Panel of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council National Mass Spectrometry Service Centre at the University of Swansea.

For most of his career he has specialised in the detection of trace quantities of drugs and explosives. He has published over thirty scientific papers and articles on trace detection. He has been closely involved in the development of the techniques and methodologies employed in the examination of drugs traces on paper currency, and has presented such work in Court on approaching one hundred occasions, including at the Court of Appeal on three occasions. Dr. Sleeman’s areas of expertise include trace drugs and explosives evidence, mass spectrometry (MS), ion mobility spectrometry (IMS), and blood alcohol calculations.


Mr John George Luke:
Company Secretary, Business & Engineering Director 

John Luke is a founding director and Business Manager of Mass Spec Analytical Ltd. He is an Aerospace Engineer who worked as a Project Manager for various British Aerospace projects. He is entirely familiar with the procedures and protocols consistent with the economic and efficient execution of business practices. Within MSA, he has controlled several projects simultaneously, involving overseas and UK customers and suppliers.

Mr. Luke was responsible for the design and manufacture of MSA’s boarding pass analyser prototypes, and all of the MSMS front-end introduction units, including related control and other supporting equipment developed at MSA to date. Mr Luke has also adapted MSA design introduction units to function successfully with alternative design mass spectrometers.

He continues to be involved with various ongoing research projects and most recently has completed a prototype high volume trace vapour collection and detection system, suitable for the detection of explosives, drugs or other illicit substances in cargo. 


Samantha Ollerton BSc. (Hons.), MSc. EurChem, MRSC, CChem, CSci, MFSSoc:
Forensic Services & Business Development Director 

Samantha Ollerton is the Director of forensic Services at MSA with over eleven years of experience working as a forensic scientist. In that time she has given evidence in several hundred civil and criminal cases in the UK and overseas.

Her role includes leading the team of MSA experts, providing a high quality forensic service for law enforcement authorities, private individuals, solicitors and defence. Samantha has worked as a project manager on several international research and development projects using mass spectrometry or other trace detector technology and novel sampling approaches for the detection of explosives & drugs.

As Business Development Director her focus is to establish and maintain collaborations and projects with industry and University partners, as well as educating current and potential clients on aspects of forensic evidence. By working closely with innovative companies worldwide, Samantha has enabled MSA to establish several links with key partners working on pioneering R&D projects. 

Samantha’s specialties include: Drugs on Banknotes, Ion Mobility Spectrometry (Ionscan & Itemiser), Explosives Detection, Counter Terrorism, Trace & Vapour, Transportation/Homeland Security, Analytical Chemistry, Mass Spectrometry, Sample Introduction Devices, Forensic Evidence Provision, Project Management, Government Contract Procurement, Trace drugs evidence, Research & Development of Novel Detection Systems.

Mr. Jonathan Brian Langton BA (Hons): Commercial Director 

Jonathan Langton is Mass Spec Analytical’s Commercial Director and has a BA (Hons) Degree in Business Studies. He has gained experience of business over twenty years working as an accountant in industry.

He worked for British Aerospace within the Security Systems business unit and when Mass Spec Analytical Ltd (“MSA”) was formed in 1994 he left to join Robert Bosch Ltd working for seven years as a Management Accountant and then Systems Accountant. However, he remained in touch with MSA and its development and, in 2001, joined the company. 



Fay Amelie Thomas MSci (Hons), MFSSoc, MRSC:
Senior Forensic Scientist

Fay gained an M.Sci. (Hons.) in Chemistry from the University of Bristol in 2004. She is a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Member of the Forensic Science Society and a member of the British Mass Spectrometry Society. Fay has been employed at MSA since 2004 as a Reporting Forensic Scientist.
Her current field of expertise includes the analysis and interpretation of traces of illicit drugs on items, for which she has appeared in court as a prosecution expert witness on numerous occasions receiving positive feedback. Additionally, Fay has experience in the analysis and reporting of the alcohol content of blood/urine samples for defence clients.

Fay is actively involved in performing research, method development and validation for new services provided by MSA, largely within, but not confined to, the following fields: IRMS, bulk drugs analysis, packaging analysis, fuel analysis and explosives analysis. Fay has published research in peer reviewed journals and presented research at conferences. 


Amy Forward BSc (Hons), MSc, MFSSoc, MRSC:
Forensic Scientist 

Amy has been employed at MSA since 2004, after achieving a first class honours degree in Forensic Science, and has produced hundreds of reports for a variety of case work and who also takes an active interest in research and development.

She has been involved in analysis for private clients regarding drug use allegations, workplace testing and in the analysis of specimens for alcohol content on behalf of numerous solicitors and clients.

Additionally, Amy has undertaken analyses of both banknotes and associated items for trace drug contamination on behalf of the prosecution, including the Police, Customs and forces throughout the UK and beyond. She has attended court and provided expert evidence in both Crown and Magistrates courts and has experience in the different court systems in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales
Amy has also worked in conjunction with visiting defence experts and solicitors. Various clients/associates have provided positive feedback for Amy, who is a dedicated and professional scientist.


Elizabeth Drake BSc (Hons), MSc, MFSSoc, MRSC:
Forensic Scientist 

Elizabeth Drake has been employed as a Forensic Scientist by MSA since 2005, prior to this she worked as an industrial technician in the chemical industry. She was awarded a BSc in Chemistry with Industrial Experience from the University of Wales, Cardiff, and has since continued her professional development as a member of the Forensic Science Society, the British Mass Spectrometry Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry, for which she is currently working towards chartered status.

Elizabeth specialises in using tandem mass spectrometry for the identification of trace amounts of illicit drugs. She also has experience in other analytical techniques including GC-FID, GC-MS and FTIR. She routinely analyses items for traces of illicit drugs and documents her findings in statements and reports. She regularly attends court as a prosecution expert witness.



Deena Hooper (nee Karagholi) BSc (Hons), MFSSoc:
Forensic Scientist 

Deena joined MSA in 2005, after completing a BSc (Hons) degree in Forensic Science. The majority of the work carried out by Deena involves the analysis of banknotes, mobile phones and other items for trace drug contamination.

She has carried out many hundreds of analyses, and written reports on these analyses for court. Deena has attended court to provide expert evidence on her reports, and has worked with defence experts and solicitors when required. Deena is also involved in the method validation of new drugs of interests. 


Peter Luke:
Senior Engineer 

Peter joined MSA in 2002 after an 18 year career as an electrical engineer. In his time at MSA, Peter has been involved in a number of key international projects involving MSA’s mobile mass spectrometer detection system, the Scentinel.

The projects have involved Peter designing and developing core equipment and peripherals, and assisting and supporting the deployment of the equipment around the world. He is MSA’s designated field engineer and is responsible for working on the maintenance contracts MSA has with its Scentinel customers.

Peter has trained US airport workers, Police Officers in the UK, army personnel in Northern Ireland, and government officials in the UK and USA, to use the equipment in a variety of detection scenarios. Peter has extensive experience in the maintenance and use of Sciex API Triple Quadrupole mass spectrometers and the related operating software; the Analyst.

Latest news

Rapid Analysis of Drugs and Explosives

Government agencies across the globe are continuously evaluating security equipment used for Drugs and Explosives detection applications, which is a very expensive and time-consuming process. So we were very pleased to see in a recent paper by Tam et al that the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has advocated the use of the Mass Spec Analytical ‘Scentinel’ system to massively reduce the time required to obtain results.

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Drug menace off the streets

A significant, longstanding figure within the drug dealing fraternity in Scotland has recently been found guilty by a majority verdict.

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Case study spotlight

Drug Trafficking/Money Laundering Operation: Drugs on money

The Operation was a long running international drug smuggling operation resulting in the seizure of more than 12 tons of controlled drugs with an estimated street value in excess of £61 million.

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