A theatrical dresser allowed to walk free by an "unduly lenient" judge after peddling ecstasy to youngsters at a music festival has been ordered to surrender to custody and start a jail term of nearly four years.
Andrew Fowles (43), a dresser with the Royal Shakespeare Company, was given a suspended sentence at Warwick Crown Court last November after the judge, Recorder Mr David Lane QC, took pity on his two children, aged 14 and 17.
However, the case was referred to the Appeal Court by the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith QC, and yesterday it decided the original sentence was "unduly lenient".
The appeal judges imposed a sentence of three years and nine months and ordered Fowler to custody within the next seven days to start his prison term.
In freeing him last year, Recorder Mr Lane said Fowles was his children's "sole carer" and, despite the "sheer volume" of ecstasy tablets involved, a prison sentence was not called for.
However, Lord Justice Maurice Kay told the Appeal Court yesterday that the Recorder had also noted that Fowles' "likely customers" were youngsters of his children's own age.
Fowles, of Willow Cottage, Alcester, had not "instigated" the drug dealing scheme, but had gone along with enthusiasm, the court heard.
He dealt in the drugs while working in a bar at the GodsKitchen Global Gathering festival at Long Marston airfield, near Stratford upon Avon, in July 2004. He was convicted of supplying 261 ecstasy tablets and possessing a further 269 tablets with intent to supply.
Fowles was described as a "greedy fool" whose actions in targeting youngsters at such a venue were "absolutely reprehensible".
Lord Justice Kay had no doubt the suspended sentence was "unduly lenient to a very substantial extent", adding that a five-year jail term would have been justified.
Given the element of "double jeopardy" - the fact that Fowles is effectively being sentenced for the second time - a sentence of three years and nine months was imposed by Lord Justice Kay, sitting with Mr Justice McKinnon and Mr Justice Langstaff.
The judge granted Fowles seven days in which to surrender to police custody, allowing him a short breathing space to "make arrangements" for his children.