The only daughter of King Salman of Saudi Arabia received a 10-month suspended prison sentence on Thursday for ordering her bodyguard to beat up a plumber in her luxury Paris flat.

Princess Hassa bint Salman, the elder half-sister of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, became enraged because she thought that Asraf Eid, the plumber, had photographed her on his mobile phone inside her home, a French court was told.

She feared that the images could be used against the royal family, prosecutors said. She was also fined €10,000 (£8,960). 

Mr Eid said he had been taking pictures of a room so he could return furniture to the same positions when he finished his work.

“The princess noticed that her face was reflected in the bathroom and that she had been filmed,” he said. “She called me a dog who didn’t deserve to live, and called her bodyguard.” Rani Saida, the bodyguard, snatched his phone, bound his hands, punched and kicked him and forced him to kiss the princess’s feet, according to the plumber.

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Princess Hassa allegedly told him: “You’ll see how you speak to a princess, how you speak to the royal family.”

The princess, 43, left France shortly after the incident in September 2016 and was sentenced in absentia. The Paris court found her guilty of complicity in violence, sequestration and theft of the plumber’s telephone.

Emmanuel Moyne, her lawyer, said she denied any wrongdoing and would appeal. He described Mr Eid’s testimony as “fanciful”.

Rani Saida, the bodyguard, was given an 8-month suspended sentence and fined €5,000 (£4,480). His lawyer said he would also appeal.

It is not the first time members of the Saudi royal family have fallen foul of the law in France.

In 2013, a court ordered the seizure of the French assets of another princess, Maha al-Sudairi, over unpaid hotel bills of nearly €6 million (more than £5.3m).

It was not immediately clear if the court’s rulings would complicate France’s close relations with Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government communications office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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