The owner of Gauche, a high-end London Art gallery, has today confirmed that a dead homeless man has been sold for the record sum of £4,700.

Ms Harriet Hambletonian-Portwine gushed: “It really was a remarkable stroke of luck. We were hosting an evening viewing for our client; an extremely talented new young artist who specialises in creating art out of refuse. Someone accidentally left the back door open and that’s when the tramp must have sneaked in, probably attracted to the smell of smoked salmon.

It must have gorged itself on at least six canapés and then slumped behind a curtain in a corner to sleep them off. When the guests arrived, the excitement of being in a room full of such fabulously important people proved just too much for the poor thing.

We had no idea it was there until one of our celebrity customers expressed an interest in purchasing that particular installation. Moby offered £300, which was immediately countered by Heston Blumenthal. Those two have loathed each other Since Blumenthal tried to marinate Moby’s four year old daughter last year. Eventually Moby ran off crying and Mr Blumenthal triumphantly secured the piece for £4,700.”

Police have now identified the man as ex-serviceman Corporal Andrew Fraser, who was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross in 2007, before being diagnosed with PTSD and honourably discharged. He later struggled with alcohol addiction and was eventually evicted from his flat in 2013.

Upon being informed of the identity of the mystery homeless man, Ms Harriet Hambletonian-Portwine expressed her shock and remorse, responding: “Dammit, I could have asked for at least eight thousand! Bloody Blumenthal will be pissing himself.”

The celebrity chef has been asked by the deceased’s family to return his remains, but their request was denied as the artwork is due to be the table centerpiece in: “Heston’s Superior Christmas Wankfest,” aired at 8pm this Saturday on BBC1.