An auctioneer has found a rare Banksy masterpiece in a North East garage.

It was a normal day for auctioneer Fred Wyrley-Birch, as he was attending to a lady's home in Ponteland to look at items for an auction.

Mr Wyrley-Birch said: "This is a free service, which we provide daily for clients across the region and beyond, for larger consignments. Once at the property, I looked at a range of objects, set aside for my visit.

"I then filled out the usual receipt and loaded them into my car, ready to take back to the saleroom."

It was then that Fred was approached by the homeowner to have a look at a curious item that had been in the garage for sometime and she did not know what it was.

He said: "As we were finishing, by chance, the client, delighted at the clear-out, revealed everything was now sorted, except for one item, a limited edition print that was in the garage, which had been puzzling her.

"I offered to take a look, so we went to the back of the garage where it was stored.

"When she handed it to me, it was one of those moments that makes the hair on the back of your head stand up.

"I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was holding a rare, limited-edition ‘Banksy’."

The auctioneer, of Anderson & Garland Auctioneers in Newcastle, was even more curious to know how the customer attained a well-known artist's masterpiece.

Mr Wyrley-Birch said: "They explained that it had been purchased in 2006, from ‘Pictures on Walls’, a gallery in London, for £200. The print also comes with the original tube and packaging.

"Moreover, it has the original skull and crossbones postage design and franking number on it.

"The print, titled ‘Morons’, is numbered 195 from a series of just 500. It is estimated to fetch around £10,000 - £15,000 at auction."

If anyone would like to view the painting, public viewing takes place on Tuesday, October 26 or by appointment and it comes up for auction on Wednesday, October 27 at Anderson & Garland’s saleroom in Newcastle, as part of their Modern Art and Design Auction.