A criminal who has spent most of his adult life in prison turned over a new leaf after jumping bail, fleeing to China and falling in love, a judge heard yesterday. During two years on the run, Li Ming, 40, became a father, set up a legitimate business and decided to give up his life of crime. But he was back behind bars yesterday after returning to surrender for the drug trafficking charges from which he had escaped. James McGowan, defending, said: 'It was . . . family responsibilities which persuaded him he didn't want to be a fugitive for the rest of his life. He decided he should come back and face up to the consequences of his previous life.' Li was jailed for six years by Deputy Judge Gareth Lugar-Mawson after admitting having trafficked in more than 100 grams of heroin on December 2, 1994. After his arrest he was released on $100,000 bail and fled across the border. He set up a new life in Hoi Fung, Guangdong, where he ran a cooked food business and settled down with a woman. The judge was shown a picture of their son, who is now two years old. Mr McGowan said: 'I can understand why he felt it was time for change. It was a wish to pay his debt to society, to take away the fear that he might be arrested and taken back to Hong Kong.' Li took a boat from China to Hong Kong and was arrested when the ship was subjected to a routine police search. Mr McGowan told the High Court Li had turned to drug trafficking after becoming tired of burgling and robbing to feed his heroin habit. Deputy Judge Lugar-Mawson said he accepted Li had returned to Hong Kong to give himself up. He said he hoped 'your character is strong enough when you are released to be able to go forward'.