Forensic Firearms Consultancy Ltd

Forensic Firearms Consultancy Ltd

Contact Number: 07919 217 848

Despite having only been trading for some 14 months, Forensic Firearms Consultancy (FFC) Ltd., is already making its mark in the Forensic Firearms Sector of the marketplace - providing expert input in all types of cases involving the use of firearms and the analysis and interpretation of gunshot residue (GSR).

The company is the brainchild of founders Mark Mastaglio BSc FFSSoc - Director of FFC’s Firearms Delivery Service and Angela Shaw BSc MFSSoc - Director of FFC’s Firearms Chemistry service.

Below is a sample of the types of criminal cases for which FFC is able to offer specialist advice:
• the legal classification of firearms/ammunition and their components;
• the reconstruction of shooting scenes;
• the interpretation of autopsy wound ballistics findings;
• the assessment of potential antique firearms;
• the determination of the type of firearm used at a crime scene;
• the determination of whether or not a particular firearm was used to discharge recovered ammunition components;
• the range of fire,
• the classification of air guns and determination whether or not an air gun discharged a specific pellet, the classification of anti- personnel sprays and electric stun devices,
• whether or not a firearm should be regarded as a disguised weapon,
• the classification of imitation firearms and their convertibility,
• assessment of deactivated firearms,
• the analysis and interpretation of GSR findings and complex case review’

The company is also involved in:
• the analysis and interpretation of GSR samples and putting such findings in the context of the case with specific regard to the possibility of contamination.

FFC has a wide range of clients and stakeholders, including:
•Defence Solicitors
•the CJS
•Academic Institutions
•Law Enforcement Agencies
•Security and Technology companies
•Forensic Science Institutions, along with regulatory and cold case review bodies.

The following example illustrates how compelling FFC generated evidence can be when presented in Court:

• Case 1: Mr D was charged with Murder following the fatal shooting of a well-known Glasgow gangland figure. It was alleged that Gunshot Residue (GSR) associated Mr D with the killing. FFC was instructed to look into how the GSR was recovered, analysed and the results interpreted. Angela Shaw, FFC’s Director of Firearm Chemistry, determined that the results had not been interpreted within the context of the case and that contamination was a significant consideration. The GSR evidence was ruled inadmissible by the Trial judge at Glasgow High Court In May 2012 and Mr D was acquitted of Murder.

By drawing on the skill and expertise of a highly dedicated team FFC is also able to provide a Consultation Service in developing Quality Assessment and Audit, together with Competency criteria to the ISO17025 standard.

The following are examples of the FFC Consultancy Service:

• Project 1: In 2012 FFC assisted the Home Office Forensic Regulator in helping to draft the Appendices to the Codes of Practice and Conduct for firearms and GSR examination. Both projects were delivered within budget and on time.

• Project 2: FFC were commissioned by the manufacturer of a prototype, so-called straight-pull, rifle with a view to assessing its classification. FFC advised on the steps to be taken to ensure that the rifle would not be classified as a prohibited weapon. The rifle has now gone into production and the FFC classification has not been challenged.

Mark added: “We are also able to provide training packages relating to Forensic Firearms/GSR and associated Quality issues can be developed and delivered, which can be individually tailored to meet the client’s specific needs.

”As you would expect from such a quality-conscious organisation, FFC is Sweet and Maxwell certified for 2013; with any analytical CJS work for GSR being carried out in laboratories accreditedto ISO17025.

It comes as no surprise to learn the company regularly receives testimonials from satisfied clients, such as the following:

“Over a number of years Mark Mastaglio has provided detailed reports and oral testimony in many high profile and difficult firearms cases with which I have been involved. Most, if not all of these cases resulted from complex murder investigations, often where several firearms were discharged. His knowledge of his area of expertise is vast. I have always found Mark to be diligent and thoroughly professional, consistently demonstrating his expertise. The quality of his evidence, both written and oral, is always exemplary. What stands Mark out as the firearms expert of choice is not only the quality of the evidence he provides but how he delivers it in court. He is an assured performer in the box, having the ability to explain highly technical ballistics issues in terms the layman and woman can understand. He is for many, myself included, the premier firearms forensic scientist and I have no hesitation in recommending him.” Anthony Orchard QC

“The report was prepared in a timely fashion and Angela Shaw was extremely helpful despite the difficulties of 6 hours of time difference and different and unfamiliar jurisdictions. Ms Shaw’s report was extremely useful for effectively cross-examining the Crown’s expert witness and all her findings were accepted by the Crown’s witness.”Lucy Organ, Samson & McGrath Solicitors, Cayman Islands.

When asked about the company’s future plans for development, Mark went on to say:

“FFC will continue to grow its market share in the independent forensic firearms sector. We are actively working to achieve a truly global reach and will continue to consolidate and grow in the UK. We look forward to an exciting future, secure in the knowledge that our unique experience profile and vision will drive us onwards to become the premier choice for all those who require truly independent forensic firearms work.


Tel: Mark Mastaglio - 07919 217 848
Angela Shaw - 07919 392 397