Disgraced retired businessman Ron Brierley has been sentenced to 14 months in prison with a seven-month non-parole period for possession of child sexual abuse images.
Brierley appeared in Sydney District Court today after pleading guilty to three counts of possession of child pornography in April.
Formerly one of New Zealand’s most successful businessmen, Brierly was arrested at Sydney Airport in December 2019 when thousands of illegal images of young girls were found on his laptop and keys USB.
Stories in Word documents sent to her detailing the rape of girls were also found.
The discovery follows an anonymous tip-off from a member of the public.
Brierley told police at the time “I think they’re all doing, they’re perfectly fine” according to a statement of the facts. He denied they were for sexual purposes, saying they “sounded interesting.”
Police searched her home later that day and found other electronic devices. Along with those seized at the airport, there were over 46,000 images classified as child abuse material.
Many of them were duplicates, but the police were unable to find out how many. Police found tens of thousands of other images that were not illegal but were “of interest” to the investigation.
A single image in Brierley’s possession fell within Interpol’s more serious category for child sexual abuse images, depicting a naked girl aged nine to 11.
Brierley’s lawyers have previously argued their client, 84, suffers from dementia and severe coronary heart disease and that any jail time could jeopardize his well-being.
The charges were punishable by a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Brierley, the founder of Brierley Investments, was a clinical business raider and one of the best known New Zealanders of the 1980s and 1990s.
He was knighted in 1988, but dropped out in May after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern began stripping him of his knighthood following his guilty plea.
Brierley became both feared and revered in business circles for his astute ability to spot companies with untapped value, which he would then take over and turn for big profits.
The 2019 NBR Rich List estimated Brierley’s net worth at around $ 220 million.