Police are investigating an alleged assault on a newspaper photographer by the wife of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe while she was on a shopping trip to the city. Grace Mugabe, 43, is accused of repeatedly punching Richard Jones, chief photographer of the Hong Kong agency Sinopix, after he took pictures of her shopping in Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Jones was on assignment for The Sunday Times of London, which yesterday published a front-page story about the incident, along with pictures of Mrs Mugabe and her alleged victim, showing his injuries. Mrs Mugabe was being followed by Jones and his colleague, photographer Tim O'Rourke, as she left the five-star Kowloon Shangri-La hotel, where she was staying, to go shopping with a bodyguard and a woman friend. Speaking to the South China Morning Post yesterday, Jones alleged that Mrs Mugabe tried to wrestle his camera from him before hitting him repeatedly last Thursday morning. 'They noticed me taking pictures when she was about 150 metres from her hotel and began shouting at me,' said the Welshman, 43. 'The bodyguard chased after me. I ran, but I was carrying heavy camera gear, and he caught up with me after 30 metres and tried to get my camera off me. 'Then I saw Grace Mugabe coming at me. She launched herself at me, tried to grab my camera and then directed punches at my face. She hit me at least 10 times in the face and head. 'She was wearing a diamond-encrusted ring that cut into me when she hit me. She was screaming and shouting, and her bodyguard was, too. I was holding on to the camera so I couldn't defend myself. 'After a few seconds, a crowd gathered around us. She then slipped away with the bodyguard, and suddenly another group of African men, who were also in her entourage, appeared at the scene and gathered around us - so I jumped into a taxi and got away.' Jones reported the incident to police in Tsim Sha Tsui two days later, by which time Mrs Mugabe and her entourage had checked out of the hotel and left Hong Kong. 'I was examined by the doctor after the attack and he counted at least nine separate marks on my face, on my mouth and below my mouth and chin, and on both temples. It was really quite painful.' Mrs Mugabe was in Hong Kong as part of an Asian holiday that began in early January in the Malaysian resort island of Langkawi and then continued to Singapore, where she was joined by husband, The Sunday Times reported. The president's wife, whose country is heavily dependent on food aid, flew to Hong Kong without her husband on January 9 and stayed with her entourage in a suite costing about HK$6,850 a night, the newspaper said. A Hong Kong police spokesman said the case had been classified as assault occasioning actual bodily harm. There had been no arrests.