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Jail 'likely' for Sir Ron Brierley

Sir Ron Brierley will next appear in court on  April 30. Photo: Getty Images
Sir Ron Brierley will next appear in court on April 30. Photo: Getty Images
A forensic psychologist who has worked with some of Australia's worst sex offenders says Sir Ron Brierley is likely to be sentenced to prison.

​The 83-year-old New Zealand businessman yesterday pleaded guilty in a Sydney court to three charges of possessing child sex abuse material.

Brierley, who lives in Sydney, was arrested in December 2019 for possession of child abuse material. Border officials had found child sexual abuse material on his laptop and electronic storage devices.

Forensic Scientist Ian Coyle said Brierley's crime was at the serious end of the scale.

"The mere fact that it's non-contact offending does not detract from the gravity of the offending," Coyle said today.

"Those who are purchasers of child pornography actively assist in the pornographic offending of those who take the images.

"There's no getting around that - it's not a victimless crime."

Coyle said people who viewed child pornography were twice as likely as sex offenders to reoffend.

Moves are now under way to strip Brierley of his knighthood.

A spokesperson for Jacinda Ardern said the Prime Minister had asked for the forfeiture process to be initiated.

Brierley will have 30 days to respond, but after that the prime minister can write to the Queen asking her to cancel his appointment to the Order of the British Empire and he would be asked to return his insignia.

Cricket Wellington is reviewing Brierley's lifetime membership, saying it had not received donations from him since October 2017.

Brierley was one of the best known New Zealanders of the 1980s and 1990s - never far from the headlines or a new business buy-up.

He became both feared and revered in business circles for his shrewd ability to spot companies with untapped value, which he would then take over and turn around for vast profits.

The "corporate raider" - as he's usually referred to - founded Brierley Investments, which was one of New Zealand's largest most successful and glamorous companies of the 1980s.

He was an expert at what admirers called "corporate rationalisation" - the ability to spot when to buy a company and reform it to extract more value.

The NBR's 2019 Rich List estimates Brierley's net worth is about $220 million, putting him at number 82 on the list of the wealthiest New Zealanders.

 

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