Cat snatched by MP John Hemming's wife is found
Monday 31 October 2011
A kitten which was stolen by an MP's wife during a burglary at the home of her husband's mistress has been found alive and well.
Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming confirmed that Beauty, whose theft last year made headlines around the world, was traced over the weekend after a member of the public called his office.
News that the cat is being cared for by a resident in the Sparkhill area of Birmingham emerged just three days after Christine Hemming, 53, was given a suspended jail term.
The MP's wife, who was also ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid community work, was convicted of burglary at Birmingham Crown Court in September after being captured on CCTV stealing the then-four-month-old tabby from the home of Emily Cox.
At her trial, the MP's wife claimed she had no recollection of picking up the cat, which she released in the local area a day after it was taken.
Mr Hemming, who represents Birmingham Yardley, told the Press Association that Beauty was thought to have had a litter of kittens and was still being looked after by nurse Sheila Bates, who lives in Sparkhill and came to the aid of the apparent stray.
Although Beauty did come "home" to Ms Cox's house in Moseley, Birmingham, for a night, the cat has now returned to the care of Ms Bates to allow the animal to wean her kittens.
Mr Hemming, who recognised the lost cat from various distinguishing features, said: "We think she has been looked after by two households as she has got a collar not put on her by Sheila.
"It's quite possible that some other household is looking after Beauty's kittens and Beauty."
Mrs Hemming's trial was told that she was involved in a "love triangle" with her husband and Ms Cox at the time of the theft and had no permission to enter the burgled property.
In a posting on the Meowseley website, which caters for cat owners in the Moseley area, Mr Hemming corrected suggestions that the cat had been found in the Sparkbrook area of Birmingham.
"Your usual standards of accuracy have clearly gone down," the MP wrote.
"Beauty was found in Sparkhill, off Showell Green Lane.
"She seems to be feeding kittens, hence our priority is the kittens - not that we have found the kittens."
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