The wife of an MP caught on CCTV sneaking into the home of his mistress in order to steal her kitten has appeared in Birmingham Crown Court.
Christine Hemming, wife of Yardley Lib Dem MP John Hemming, denies the charges of burgling the Birmingham home of Emily Cox.
Prosecutor Jason Pegg told the court that CCTV camera's at Cox's home had captured what had happened.
"This case is all about the defendant going to Emily Cox's home one evening in September of last year before entering that home and stealing a kitten known as Beauty," he said.
"She then left the house through the same door which she had entered but, when she left the house, under her left arm was Beauty the kitten."
Beauty has not been seen since her alleged abduction.
The court heard that Hemming, his wife and Cox, were engaged in a "love triangle" of which all three members were aware.
Cox worked as a parliamentary researcher Hemming and had a child with the MP in 2006.
In October John Hemming posted on his blog offering a reward for her return. "Kitten Missing." he wrote. "If anyone has seen this kitten please contact me at the House of Commons. There is a reward for its return".
Hemming hit the headlines recently when he used the protection of parliamentary privilege to break a series of super-injunctions, including one that prevented journalists reporting allegations that footballer Ryan Giggs had been having an affair.
In October 2005, as news of his affair with Cox broke, the MP admitted to voting for himself in the News of the World's "Love Rat" competition. He described his competitors for the prize as "various drab people from across the country".