KNIVES, swords, knuckledusters and batons can all be described as offensive weapons.

But one Hampshire mum was shocked to discover that the humble fly swat had joined that list when she went to buy one from her local hardware store.

Nicola Butcher said she was asked to produce identification to buy the 99p plastic item at Hardware House in Romsey.

She went to the store in The Hundred after her old fly swat broke.

But when she went to the till to pay for the innocuous 99p item she was stunned when she was asked to produce identificatin in order to buy it.

The 33-year-old said: “The person at the till asked me if I had any ID as it had come up as an offensive weapon.

“I just laughed – I couldn’t believe it. To be fair the person behind the till was also laughing but I had to get my driving licence out to show her.

“How can an innocent plastic fly swat be an offensive weapon?

It’s ridiculous, what is the world coming to when you can’t buy a fly swat without producing ID for it.”

The mother of one, from Winchester Road, Romsey, added: “I can understand why you would ask for ID when you were buying fireworks or alcohol, but not a fly swat.”

Lindsey Waude, assistant manager at the store said: “We think it might be an error on our till system.

“Sometimes it flashes up that something is an offensive weapon, but our guy who does the computers has been on his honeymoon for three weeks.

“I’m sure the member of staff asked for it in jest.”