Famed businessman admits to sick secret

 

Millionaire businessman Sir Ronald Alfred Brierley has pleaded guilty in court to possessing graphic sexual images and videos of young children.

The elderly knight's lawyer Penny Musgrave asked that he not be required to stand in the Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday "due to his age" as she entered guilty pleas to three counts of possessing child abuse material.

An additional 14 counts of the same charge laid upon the famed corporate raider were withdrawn and he has been committed to the District Court for sentence.

The offence carries a maximum jail term of 10 years prison.

Sir Ron Brierley has admitted to possessing child abuse material. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Joel Carrett
Sir Ron Brierley has admitted to possessing child abuse material. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Joel Carrett

Now 83, Brierley was stopped by Australian Border Force officers at Sydney Airport after jetting in from Fiji in December 2019.

Australian Federal Police alleged at the time he was caught with more than 200,000 images and 500 videos on electronic devices found in his carry on bags.

The court heard on Thursday that Brierley, who remains on bail to live at his Point Piper mansion, admitted to being in possession of "some images" but would dispute the figures alleged by police.

Sir Ron Brierley (left) leaves court with lawyer Penny Musgrave on Thursday. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Joel Carrett
Sir Ron Brierley (left) leaves court with lawyer Penny Musgrave on Thursday. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Joel Carrett

After the short mention, the frail, retired tycoon was helped to his feet by Ms Musgrave before leaving the court using a walking stick.

Brierley had been considered business royalty in both his birth country of New Zealand and adopted home of Australia.

The Wellington-born former head of the Bank of New Zealand was knighted in 1988 and also served on the board of the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust.

Among his notable business achievements was transforming the once-struggling supermarket chain Woolworths into a multibillion-dollar company.

Brierley will return to court on April 30, 2021.

Originally published as Famed businessman admits to sick secret

In his prime in the 1980s.
In his prime in the 1980s.


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