Online retailer Amazon.co.uk has allowed sellers to advertise deadly weapons on its website and marketed its own pepper spray pistol which was dispatched from the company's Milton Keynes warehouse. Other weapons available for purchase included a peaked cap which had a concealed spiked knuckle-duster and a stun gun torch similar to ones used by the killers of Becky Watts.
The pepper spray pistol, "Guardian Angel II", was marketed as an animal deterrent. Costing £36.73 ($55, €50.56), it is capable of firing strong pepper solution from each of its two barrels at speeds of up to 110 mph. In an investigation, the Guardian newspaper received the product less than 48 hours after purchasing them. Although since removed from the UK site, it is still available from its German equivalent.
Also available until recently were stun guns similar to those used by Nathan Matthews when abducting and killing his stepsister, Becky Watts. The stun gun purchased from private sellers in the US could administer one million volts, yet it was being marketed as a "self-defence flashlight."
The products purchased by the Guardian as part of the investigation are no longer for sale on Amazon.co.uk. The company said in a statement: "Sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who don't will be subject to action including potential removal of their account. The products in question are no longer available."
A spokesperson from the Home Office said anyone buying, selling or carrying such weapons could be committing a serious offence. "It is an offence to sell any prohibited firearms – including stun guns – and we are increasing the maximum prison sentence for this offence from 10 years to life in prison. Nor should anyone intending to carry these weapons in the UK be in any doubt of their illegality. Anyone caught in possession of a weapon banned in the UK faces being charged with illegal importation of a prohibited weapon, which can lead to a prison sentence."