British MP's wife found guilty of cat theft

Birmingham Crown Court has found Christine Hemming guilty of burgling the home of her love rival Emily Cox and stealing Beauty the kitten.

Mrs Hemming's husband John is the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Yardley. The Liberal Democrat MP is known for his "unorthodox" domestic arrangements, spending weekends at the marital home with his wife and weeknights at the home of Ms Cox less than a mile away. The love triangle arrangement had lasted for some time but grew more and more acrimonious prior to the burglary.

As part of the prosecution's case, the jury were shown CCTV footage of Mrs Hemming sneaking across the back garden of Ms Cox's home on all fours before entering her house. Minutes later she is seen leaving with the kitten under her arm.

The evidence was described as "compelling" by the prosecution although Mrs Hemming testified that she could not remember taking the kitten.

You can judge that for yourselves by having a look at the following video from ITN News:

The jury took just over five hours to reach their decision.

The judge bailed Mrs Hemming until October 28th, when she is expected to return to Birmingham Crown Court for sentencing. As of yet there is no indication of what the likely sentence will be, with the judge being quoted as saying that there could be "no promises".

However the fact that the trial took place in Crown Court implies that a more serious sentence could be on the cards; a summary trial in a lower court would result in a maximum custodial sentence of six months.

More here at the Daily Mail and here at the Birmingham Mail.

There is, however, still no sign of Beauty the kitten - and no one seems to be searching any more!

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