A drug dealer seeking a reduced prison term because of new sentencing guidelines yesterday had his appeal dismissed by judges who said freeing him early would open the floodgates for similar claims. Journalist Mark Anthony Seabrook, 40, was jailed for four years and four months in May last year after selling 350 Ecstasy tablets to an undercover police officer. His lawyer, Paul Dinan, had previously told the Court of Appeal that sentencing guidelines in place at the time ranked Ecstasy as almost as serious a drug as heroin. But a judge ruling on a landmark drugs case in May this year had said that Ecstasy was not addictive, toxic or a serious threat to society, paving the way for much lighter sentences. Mr Dinan had told the appeal court that under the new guidelines set by the May case, his client would have been sentenced to no more than two years' jail. Seabrook had admitted dealing in 22 grams of the drug. Yesterday, Mr Justice Simon Mayo, Mr Justice Anthony Leong Shiu-chung and Mr Justice Frank Stock rejected Seabrook's plea for a reduced sentence. 'If, after 18 months this court is to allow the sentences to be reviewed because the courts have since taken a less serious view of the offences . . . this will not only be against established principles but likely to open a floodgate,' they said. 'Then there will be no finality.' The judges said Seabrook, a Briton, had been caught with a 'not insubstantial amount of Ecstasy' at the Airport Regal Hotel, and the inference was that he had imported the drug. They said that despite the less serious view the courts now took of Ecstasy offences, 'we find no reason to interfere with the sentences of the district judge'.