The former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s wife was left red face yesterday following an overturn by appeal judges after she gave a drug dealer a suspended jail sentence for being caught with a kilogram of cocaine with a street value of Â£145,600.
The part-time Crown Court Judge known as Cherie Booth QC, 56, was highly criticised by the appeal judges for allowing Â 43-year-old drug smuggler Lee Williams to walk free from Isleworth Crown Court In South West London Â in March and therefore overturned her lenient sentence with a three-and-a-half year jail term.
It took the jury just three hours to find William’s guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs after Customs officers had allowed a package of cocaine to be posted to him from the US to his flat in Hanwell West London where he was then arrested by officers.
Despite prosecutors in the case believing that Williams was not an organiser of the drugs ring but were convinced he was ‘near the top of the food chain’, and he should expect a substantial stretch behind prison bars, but it appears that Cherie Blair took pity on him because Williams was a long-term alcoholic who suffered from a chronic liver condition and had suffered a stroke whilst being held on remand for 240 days before the trial and allowed him to walk free.
Following her controversial decision, The Appeal Court were then asked to review the sentence and decided that the part time judge Cherie Booth had been ‘unduly lenient’ and in agreement that:
“There is a deficiency in the respect of Cherie Booth QC, in her reasoning. We consider she was persuaded against her initial better judgement and imposed an unduly lenient sentence.
“In the most exceptional circumstances, it may be possible for the court to take an exceptionally lenient course. We consider this case is not in that category.”
The Appeal Court have ordered that the cocaine smuggler must now surrender himself to the police.