Laura Plummer
Laura Plummer is starting a three-year sentence after being convicted on Boxing Day of smuggling over 300 Tramadol tablets into Egypt Family Handout

A British woman jailed for taking painkillers banned in Egypt into the country has already been beaten up and threatened by other inmates, her family has said, and they fear she will not survive being thrown into the notorious Qena prison.

Laura Plummer was sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted on Boxing Day (26 December) of smuggling over 300 Tramadol tablets into the country.

The 33-year-old shop assistant from Hull collapsed in the dock when the judge passed the sentence.

Tramadol, a powerful opiate painkiller, is illegal in Egypt but available on prescription in the UK. Plummer claimed the pills were for her Egyptian boyfriend who suffered back pain, and she was not aware they were illegal in Egypt.

Plummer's family have complained that she has already been "kicked and punched" by other prisoners while in the holding prison. Plummer is to be sent to Egypt's infamous Qena jail, in the south of the country, reported the Hull Daily Mail.

Plummer's sister Jayne Sinclair, 40, said she will be "amazed" if her younger sibling survives her jail conditions, which she fears will be even worse than the previous police cell she shared with 25 other women, which had a hole in the floor for a toilet.

"Now the real hell will begin. I will be astounded if we ever get her home. It's terrifying," Sinclair told the Mirror. "That prison is notorious. The Foreign Office have put in an urgent appeal to get her moved to Cairo because they know it's so dangerous."

"They've stolen everything from her and she's too scared to stop them... She's frightened to death of everything. She is not the strongest person - she's already having a nervous breakdown and is being kicked and punched in the holding prison. I can't see Laura surviving this. She's the softest, kindest woman," said Sinclair.

The Plummer family have been paying someone to take Laura food three times a week because she "doesn't have the character" to fight her way to the food which is thrown on to the cell floor once a day.

Sinclair said: "Laura is petrified and on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Her mental health is going to be totally destroyed and my mum's too. They are traumatised. I think Laura could die of fear or even kill herself. I really am scared she will never come home and will die in that prison."

Laura Plummer was arrested in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada in October with a large quantity of Tramadol tablets in her suitcase, which she said were for her 33-year-old Egyptian partner Omar Caboo, a sports activity administrator at a 5-star hotel in Sharm El Sheikh who she met while on holiday in the country four years ago.

Plummer's family plan to appeal against her conviction, but under Egyptian law they have to wait 60 days before they can lodge their application to the court.