A man who owned and distributed indecent pictures of children has become the first UK citizen to be extradited from China.

David Price, 69, was sentenced to seven years and eight months in prison at Liverpool crown court after being successfully brought back to England.

Price had fled to China in 2003 after being arrested for his crimes in Southport. While the investigation was under way, he skipped bail and fled to China on a false passport.

The caserepresents the first extradition from China to the UK. No formal extradition treaty exists between the two nations.

"Price thought he could evade justice by fleeing to a country where the UK has no extradition treaty. This was not the case," said chief crown prosecutor Paul Whittaker.

"Our prosecutors joined forces with the specialist teams in the CPS national extradition unit and, together with government agencies in the UK and China and with investigating officers from Merseyside Police, brought this manipulative and dangerous individual before the courts.

"Price believed that his crimes were victimless. However, every image he had and shared contained a child who has a family and a future and life which Price was complicit in destroying."

CPS specialist extradition prosecutor Alison Riley said the case proved that even a country with no extradition arrangement was not a safe haven for criminals.

She started work on the case in 2009 and a formal extradition request was sworn at South Sefton magistrates court in June 2010. The following year the extradition was approved by the Hubei high court and ratified by China's supreme people's court.

The final decision to allow the extradition to go ahead was made in October by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in China.

Price was taken by Merseyside police from Beijing to the UK.

"We have worked hard with colleagues across government and held discussions with the Chinese authorities so this extradition could take place," Riley said.