Birmingham & Black Country

MP John Hemming's cat Beauty stolen by wife is found

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Media captionChristine Hemming was filmed by CCTV cameras stealing the kitten from Emily Cox's home

A cat stolen by the wife of a Liberal Democrat MP from the home of her husband's lover last year has been found in Birmingham.

John Hemming, MP for Birmingham Yardley, confirmed Beauty, who belongs to the young daughter he had with his mistress, was located in Sparkhill.

Mr Hemming's wife, Christine, 53, was given a nine-month suspended sentence on Friday for burglary.

She was filmed on CCTV removing the pet from Emily Cox's home last year.

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

Beauty had not been seen since she was filmed being removed on 29 September last year.

Hemming had said she could not remember how the cat came to be in her possession and denied that she had deliberately taken it.

She said she went to the property to give her husband his post and had "no recollection" of taking the cat.

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Media captionSheila Bates, who had been looking after Beauty, says she will remain with her for a few more weeks

"I didn't realise I had it until I returned to the house and there it was in the back of the car," she said.

She said she put Beauty over her garden fence and the next day took her to "within 30 metres" of Ms Cox's home, thinking the cat would find its way back.

But Mr Hemming said on Monday that a woman called Sheila Bates contacted his constituency office on Friday to say she had been looking after Beauty in Sparkhill.

The cat has since had kittens and is still weaning them but has been reunited by her owner.

'Had kittens'

Mr Hemming said: "We noticed she was still lactating and we discussed it with Sheila and she said yes, she recently had kittens so, we put her back with Sheila.

"Although Sheila has been looking after Beauty, we don't know where she's had her kittens. She's had them somewhere else... maybe at somebody's else's house?"

The MP said he was concerned for the welfare of the litter and urged anyone who may have been looking after the kittens to let him know.

He said it was also possible Beauty had had a second litter.

Mr Hemming added: "It would be nice to settle down and... it's quite possible some other household's been looking after Beauty's kittens and called her something else without knowing that that cat was stolen."

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