Ron Brierley jailed for at least 7 months over possessing child abuse material

Judge Huggett said Brierley had collected a large number of images over a significant period of time, as part of his “lifelong obsession and sexual attraction” to girls aged between four and 15.

She said Brierley attempted to access the dark web without success, and accessed the images from publicly-available websites.

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Judge Huggett jailed Brierley for 14 months, with a non-parole period of seven months, saying she had taken into account his advanced age and medical conditions including heart problems and dementia.

Brierley was knighted in 1988 in his native New Zealand for his contribution to business management and the community, however that accolade was stripped this year after he pleaded guilty to three charges of possessing child abuse material.

His barrister Tim Game, SC, told a sentencing hearing in August that Brierley had a troubling attraction to images of children, which was a “significant affliction” over a period of time and had been described as a “disorder”.

Mr Game said his client has experienced a “radical” fall from grace which has seen the millionaire’s name removed from cricket pavilions and schools and his donations rejected.

“The downfall has been complete,” Mr Game said. “The shame, and the very public shame, is where he’s gone from being a person who was regarded with the highest respect to a person who is regarded as a social pariah.”

Mr Game said Brierley did not realise the material he possessed was illegal, and he should not be jailed because he is unlikely to commit another offence. Brierley is in very frail health, the court heard, including experiencing the onset of dementia and coronary artery disease.

Brierley will be eligible for parole in May 2022.


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