MP's wife to face trial over 'kitten theft'

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The Independent Online

An MP's wife appeared before magistrates today charged with burgling the house of her husband's lover and stealing a tabby kitten worth £20.

Christine Margaret Hemming, wife of Birmingham Yardley MP John Hemming, was not required to enter a plea during a brief appearance at the city's magistrates' court.



Mrs Hemming, of Moseley, Birmingham, is alleged to have burgled the home of Emily Cox, a researcher with whom the MP fathered a child in 2005.



The burglary is alleged to have been committed, contrary to the 1968 Theft Act, at night on September 29.



Magistrates were given a brief outline of the alleged facts in the case and committed Mrs Hemming, 52, for crown court trial.



The Lib Dem MP's spouse was granted conditional bail and will reappear before magistrates for a committal hearing on December 16.



Mr Hemming, who was elected as an MP in 2005, was unavailable for comment.



The fate of the cat was not made clear in court, but a picture of the animal, apparently called Beauty, was posted on Mr Hemming's blog under the heading "kitten missing" at 8.07am today.



The photograph was accompanied by a message which read: "If anyone has seen this kitten please contact me at the House of Commons. There is a reward for its return."



Liberal Democrat Mr Hemming, who described his domestic status as "an unclear situation", told the Press Association: "I would just like the cat back.



"I have spent some time looking for the kitten and there is a reward for the safe return of the kitten.



"Her brother Twinkle is pining for her."