Business tycoon Sir Ron Brierley will fight charges of possessing child abuse material that is alleged to have included photographs and video of children as young as two-years-old, and written stories that featured the rape of children.

The details followed his first court appearance on the charges in a central Sydney courtroom, where he appeared for a 9.30am hearing yesterday.

Brierley, 82, arrived at the court looking frail and ruddy-faced about 20 minutes before the brief hearing got underway. He was represented by barrister Penny Musgrave.

Using a walking cane for support, accompanied by another man, he sat in the public gallery of the courtroom while the case was heard.

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It was the first matter called in courtroom 4.4 at the Downing Centre local court. There was no mention of his knighthood when his name was called, simply summoned as "Brierley, Ronald Arthur".

Sir Ron Brierley leaves the Downing Centre Local Court with barrister Penny Musgrave. Photo / Getty Images
Sir Ron Brierley leaves the Downing Centre Local Court with barrister Penny Musgrave. Photo / Getty Images

Musgrave told the court there would be a not guilty plea, although no formal plea has yet been entered on the court record.

The hearing took just a few minutes during which time Brierley's bail conditions were renewed and he was excused from personally appearing at the next court hearing on April 2.

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The 82-year-old New Zealand-born businessman was approached by Border Force officials who seized his laptop and other electronic devices.

Court documents show Brierley is facing six charges relating to possession of child abuse material, including photographs, videos and written documents in the form of stories that featured children being raped.

The detail of the charges alleged the photographs and video included those in which girls aged between two and 15 years of age were portrayed in sexually suggestive poses.

Those charges followed Brierley being stopped by the Australian Border Force on December 18 as he prepared to board a flight to Fiji. Instead of flying to Fiji, Brierley was taken to the nearby Mascot police station.

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Australia media quiz Sir Ron Brierley, pictured with barrister Penny Musgrave, after his court appearance in Sydney. Photo / David Fisher
Australia media quiz Sir Ron Brierley, pictured with barrister Penny Musgrave, after his court appearance in Sydney. Photo / David Fisher

Detectives are reported by Australian media to have taken his laptop and electronic devices on which were allegedlty discovered more than 200,000 images and 512 videos.

Brierley remained in the courtroom for about 20 minutes after the case before Musgrave escorted him through a waiting media pack to an Audi A8, parked close to the entrance of the Downing Centre.

The same type of car whisked Brierley away from his home in Sydney's exclusive Point Piper on Sunday into a stormy and wet Sydney afternoon.

He had no comment for the Herald when approached, saying only: "Sorry, sorry, no."

The Point Piper home of Sir Ron Brierley. Photo / David Fisher
The Point Piper home of Sir Ron Brierley. Photo / David Fisher

Brierley has been a towering figure in New Zealand and Australia's business world for decades. It was only last year that Brierley relinquished roles in companies he had helped steer for years.

Brierley Investments was New Zealand's most influential company throughout most of the 1970s and 1980s with one in every 20 New Zealanders owning shares.

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His estimated $220m fortune was built through a keen eye for companies that were rich in assets yet poor in returns for investors. He built a reputation as a corporate raider who would descend of such companies with dramatic restructuring plans that returned strong profits.

Brierley's directors were a Who's Who of New Zealand business legend, including Sir Selwyn Cushing, current Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, Sir Roger Douglas and Dame Fran Wilde.