MP's wife sentenced for cat snatch

An MP's wife was given a nine-month suspended jail sentence yesterday for snatching a kitten from the home of her husband's mistress.

Christine Hemming, 53, from Moseley, Birmingham, was convicted of burglary by a jury at the city's Crown Court last month.

She was captured on CCTV stealing a four-month-old tabby from the home of Emily Cox, the long-term lover of the Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming. The kitten, which belonged to the daughter Mr Hemming had with Ms Cox, has not been seen since.

Mrs Hemming was also ordered to do 150 hours of community work and pay costs of £1,000.

Cameras filmed her crawling on her hands and knees beneath a window, then entering the property and emerging with the cat, named Beauty, under her arm. During the trial, she claimed she had been at the house only to drop off some post.

Mr Hemming said after the sentencing: "I'm not happy about the situation generally. It's not good, is it?" Mrs Hemming said: "I'm not a criminal, yet I have a conviction. I did not deliberately take the cat. The whole process has been very unfortunate. I think the cat's the victim."