New Zealand businessman sent to jail for child abuse images

Oct 13, 2021, 8:16 AM | Updated: 8:46 pm
New Zealand businessmen Ron Brierley arrives at the Local Downing Centre Court in Sydney, Thursday,...

New Zealand businessmen Ron Brierley arrives at the Local Downing Centre Court in Sydney, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, to be sentenced for possessing child sex abuse images. Brierley, one of New Zealand’s most well-known businessmen, was sentenced to 14 months in prison for possessing child sex abuse images. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

(AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

SYDNEY (AP) — One of New Zealand’s best-known businessmen Ron Brierley was sentenced in a Sydney court on Thursday to 14 months in prison for possessing thousands of child sex abuse images.

The 84-year-old former corporate raider had pleaded guilty to the charges in New South Wales state District Court in April, but was released on bail until his sentencing.

Brierley, who has admitted having a lifelong obsession with young girls, was arrested at Sydney International Airport in 2019.

The convictions related to 40,000 images found on devices in his airport luggage and at his home in Sydney.

His lawyers had argued against a prison sentence and said a community penalty would be appropriate.

But Judge Sarah Huggett ruled that anything short of imprisonment would be “manifestly inadequate.” She accepted his expression of remorse and that he acknowledged the harm of his actions, but rejected the contention that he didn’t know the images were illegal.

Huggett sentenced him to 14 months in prison with a non-parole period of seven months. He faced a potential maximum of 10 years.

The judge noted the vast number of images, the many victims involved, the long-term possession of the material and his motivation being the sexual interest in girls.

“The offender’s fall from grace has been radical,” she said, noting he had previously contributed to charitable and other community works.

Brierley in the 1970s and ’80s executed a series of aggressive business maneuvers that grew Brierley Investments Ltd. into one of New Zealand’s largest corporations. His profile had faded somewhat following the 1987 stock market crash, but he continued to make business deals in New Zealand and in his new home of Australia.

Business publication NBR lists Brierley as among New Zealand’s 100 wealthiest people, with an estimated fortune of 220 million New Zealand dollars ($153 million).

Following his guilty plea, he was stripped of a knighthood and his name was scrubbed from a theater and sports field at the New Zealand high school he had attended, Wellington College.

Denise Ritchie, a long-time campaigner against sexual violence directed at women and children, welcomed Brierley’s prison sentence.

“Offenders like Brierley fuel an abhorrent trade that requires children to be sexually degraded, exploited and violated in front of cameras. His countless girl victims will carry a psychological burden for the rest of their lives,” Ritchie said in a statement.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Husband of detained Iranian-British woman on hunger strike

LONDON (AP) — The husband of U.K. charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been detained more than five years in Iran, has gone on a hunger strike again after a court decided she has to spend another year in prison. Richard Ratcliffe started his fast on Sunday outside the British government’s Foreign Office in central […]
1 day ago
FILE - A large crowd of movie industry workers and New Mexico residents attend a candlelight vigil ...
Associated Press

Let computers do it: Film set tragedy spurs call to ban guns

NEW YORK (AP) — With computer-generated imagery, it seems the sky’s the limit in the magic Hollywood can produce: elaborate dystopian universes. Trips to outer space, for those neither astronauts nor billionaires. Immersive journeys to the future, or back to bygone eras. But as a shocked and saddened industry was reminded this week, many productions […]
1 day ago
In this photo provided by Louis Amestoy, a police officer stands watch over the scene of a fatal dr...
Associated Press

Texas drag race driver slams into spectators, killing 2 kids

KERRVILLE, Texas (AP) — A driver lost control during a Texas drag racing event on an airport runway and slammed into a crowd of spectators, killing two children and injuring eight other people, authorities said. A 6-year-old boy and an 8-year-old boy were killed in the crash Saturday afternoon at an event called “Airport Race […]
1 day ago
Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin arrives for an EU summit in Brussels, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. E...
Associated Press

Finland’s leader: Turkey decision on envoys ‘regrettable’

HELSINKI (AP) — Finland’s leader said Sunday that the Turkish president’s decision to order that 10 foreign ambassadors, including the Nordic country’s envoy, be declared persona non grata after calling for the release of a jailed philanthropist and human rights activist was a “regrettable situation.” Prime Minister Sanna Marin told public broadcaster YLE that “this […]
1 day ago
FILE — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks during the Family Leadership Summit in this July 16, ...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: Will lawmakers dig into Kristi Noem, appraisers?

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota lawmakers will be taking a look at a state agency that has been at the center of questions about whether Gov. Kristi Noem used her influence to aid her daughter’s application for a real estate appraiser license. At first glance, the first item of business for the Legislature’s […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Fire burns aboard container ship off British Columbia

VICTORIA, British Columbia (AP) — A fire was burning in several containers aboard a cargo ship off Canada’s Pacific coast province of British Columbia on Sunday. The Canadian Coast Guard said it received word late Saturday morning that a fire had broken out in 10 damaged containers aboard the MV Zim Kingston, which is now […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
New Zealand businessman sent to jail for child abuse images