Ron Brierley's sentencing may be delayed due to Sydney's Covid outbreak

Author
Sam Hurley, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 6 Aug 2021, 2:08PM
Ron Brierley at Sydney's Downing Centre court building for his case in February last year. (Photo / Getty Images)
Ron Brierley at Sydney's Downing Centre court building for his case in February last year. (Photo / Getty Images)

Ron Brierley's sentencing may be delayed due to Sydney's Covid outbreak

Author
Sam Hurley, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 6 Aug 2021, 2:08PM

Besmirched businessman Ron Brierley may have to wait to learn his fate after admitting charges of possessing child sex abuse material in Sydney.

The 84-year-old multi-millionaire and corporate raider is due to appear in court again on August 20. However, the building has now been closed amid a devastating Covid-19 outbreak in Australia.

A statement on the New South Wales Bar Association's website said the Chief Magistrate's Office advised that, due to potential Covid-19 exposure within the Downing Centre Building, a decision has been made to close the court for cleaning.

All cases which were due to be heard have been delayed until August 20.

According to the New South Wales Court and Tribunal online registry, Brierley is still listed for sentencing on August 20.

In April, Brierley pleaded guilty to three charges for possessing some 46,795 images depicting child sex abuse material.

The Wellington-born Brierley, who founded RA Brierley Investments Ltd and later received a knighthood for services to business in 1988, was arrested while trying to board a plane to Fiji in December 2019.

Brierley surrendered his knighthood in May after his guilty pleas and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had asked officials to begin the process of stripping him of the honour.

Ardern told media offending such as Brierley's "completely rewrites your history. Undoubtedly".

His arrest followed a five-month police investigation, reportedly sparked by an anonymous phone call. After being stopped by Australian Border Force officers, Brierley's hand luggage was seized.

Police initially alleged they found more than 200,000 images and 500 videos on his laptop and devices showing child abuse material.

The former chairman of the Bank of New Zealand's charges grew to 14 and eventually 17 earlier this year before his guilty pleas saw 14 withdrawn by prosecutors.

A now-infamous businessman and criminal, whose net worth grew to more than $200 million, he remains on bail at his Point Piper mansion in Sydney's exclusive eastern suburbs.