MP's wife guilty of kitten theft
An MP's wife has been convicted of burglary after she was captured on CCTV snatching a kitten from the home of her husband's long-term lover.
Christine Hemming, 53, stole four-month-old Beauty a few days after separating from Liberal Democrat John Hemming last September.
Cameras at the home of Mr Hemming's mistress Emily Cox filmed Mrs Hemming crawling on her hands and knees beneath a window before entering the property and emerging with the cat under her arm.
During a trial at Birmingham Crown Court, Mrs Hemming accepted that the footage looked "terrible" but said she had simply been trying to avoid being seen by any children at the property, claiming she was at the house to drop off some post.
She had denied the charge and told jurors she had "no recollection" of taking the tabby, which was never seen again.
But the court heard that in police interviews following her arrest the mother-of-three admitted taking the cat, telling officers that when she saw the kitten at her love rival's home she thought, "not only has he replaced me, he's replaced our cats".
The jury of six men and six women heard that Mrs Hemming, her husband, and Ms Cox, were involved in a "love triangle" at the time of the burglary.
The Hemmings agreed that the MP for Birmingham Yardley could continue to "see some women, including Emily" but that he would always return to the marital home at night.
But after Ms Cox's daughter was born, the court heard that Mr Hemming began to divide his time between his marital home and that of Ms Cox, who bought a house with money he loaned to her.
Mrs Hemming, from Moseley, Birmingham, was bailed to appear at the same court for sentencing on October 28.