Brierley told police child abuse images in his possession were 'perfectly OK'

Ron Brierley leaving a Sydney court in 2019. Photo: Getty Images
Ron Brierley leaving a Sydney court in 2019. Photo: Getty Images
With passport in hand and 11,000 images of child abuse material in his luggage, wealthy corporate raider Ron Brierley was cooperative when stopped by police on his way to Fiji.

He unlocked his laptop, on which officials uncovered images of prepubescent girls in sexually suggestive poses.

"I reckon they're all, they are perfectly OK," the then-knighted New Zealander told police at Sydney Airport in December 2019.

Denying a sexual motive, he said "recreation" was the purpose for viewing some of the images the night before and said he'd downloaded them because they "looked interesting".

The revelations emerged in an agreed facts document tendered to the Sydney District Court on Friday, after the 84-year-old pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing child abuse material.

Brierley, who rose to fame and wealth in the 1970s and once led NZ's largest company, is due to be sentenced on August 20.

The agreed facts document details how two USBs found in his luggage contained nearly 100,000 images, including 11,600 of girls in sexualised poses and in various states of undress.

Some images were stored behind folders named Angelica, Clarissa, Dream Models and New Star Candy.

Police also found two text files, including one named "The Stepfather", which detailed the sexual abuse of girls aged nine and 11.

A two-hour video also on a USB featured regular focusing on the genital areas of six young girls wearing swimwear.

Another 35,000 child abuse images were later found in Brierley's home in Sydney's exclusive Point Piper, though investigators are unsure the extent of the "significant" duplication across various devices.

USBs and a laptop on the elderly man's dining room table contained 14,500 sexually suggestive images of young girls while nine devices in his hallway and bedroom had a similar number.

A tablet in a drawer of the home's master bedroom contained one image of a naked prepubescent girl on a bed.

How long Brierley possessed and how often he accessed the images is not known, the facts sheet states.

"There is also limited information available about the offenders' organisation, access and use of the material," it says.

Brierley told police at the airport the images were from an internet address and related to girls "on their various services", which allowed him to subscribe to and download the images.

The dual citizen of New Zealand and Australia will be added to NSW's child protection register once he's sentenced for the three offences.

Each offence carries a maximum term of 10 years in jail.

His guilty pleas in April led NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Arden to immediately ask the local honours unit to consider stripping Brierley of his knighthood, which he has since surrendered.

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