Sir Ron Brierley is fighting charges relating to possessing child pornography, with a Sydney court told today that the Kiwi millionaire intends to plead not guilty.

Brierley attended the Sydney courthouse for the first hearing following his arrest on charges of possessing child pornography.

He appeared frail before the court, rising briefly when the case was called, before returning to his seat.

There was no mention of his knighthood when his name was called, simply summoned as "Brierley, Ronald Arthur".

Advertisement

The lawyer representing Brierley told the court today that a not guilty plea would be entered, although at this stage there is no formal plea on the court record.

Brierley's bail conditions - that he reside at his Sydney mansion - were continued until the next hearing on April 2.

Sir Ron Brierley leaves the Sydney court with his lawyer Penny Musgrave. Photo / David Fisher
Sir Ron Brierley leaves the Sydney court with his lawyer Penny Musgrave. Photo / David Fisher

Brierley was represented by lawyer Penny Musgrave, who escorted him from court after the two-minute hearing. He would not answer questions from waiting media.

Using a walking cane for support, Brierley, 82, had arrived at the court just after 9am local time.

He sat in the public gallery waiting for the case to be called, head hunched forward, dressed in the same navy blue suit he wore when leaving his home in the exclusive Point Piper yesterday.

It was unclear how Brierley made his way into the Downing Centre local court in central Sydney, having not been seen at the court's front entrance.

Brierley was escorted to the court by a middle-aged woman, who left him with a casually-dressed man who sat alongside the multi-millionaire without speaking.

Brierley was arrested at Sydney Airport on December 18 while preparing to board a plane to Fiji.

Advertisement

READ MORE
Sir Ron Brierley due in court on child pornography charges
Sir Ron Brierley charges 'relate to 200,000 photos and 500 videos of alleged child abuse'
Fran O'Sullivan: Ron Brierley child-porn allegation caps off 'the year of behaving badly'
Sir Ron Brierley: Student stamp collector became corporate takeover maestro

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

Instead of flying to Fiji, Brierley was taken to the nearby Mascot police station before being bailed to his Point Piper home.

The Mascot police station, where Sir Ron Brierley was taken after his arrest at Sydney airport. Photo / David Fisher
The Mascot police station, where Sir Ron Brierley was taken after his arrest at Sydney airport. Photo / David Fisher

Those living on Brierley's street in the exclusive suburb were not willing to comment on their neighbour or the charges he was facing yesterday.

Brierley was born in Wellington in 1937 and went on to become a towering figure in the Australasian business world.

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.

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.

Over time, Brierley's reach and then life became more Australia focused, with a home in Sydney's exclusive Point Piper suburb.

It was there the Herald spoke with Brierley on the eve of today's court appearance. He had no desire to comment on the charges.

Sir Ron Brierley (right) at his Point Piper home in Sydney, Australia, on the eve of his first court appearance on child porn charges. Photo / David Fisher
Sir Ron Brierley (right) at his Point Piper home in Sydney, Australia, on the eve of his first court appearance on child porn charges. Photo / David Fisher

Using a walking stick for support, Brierley was polite but firm in refusing to comment.

Brierley has spent the past two months since being charged on strict bail conditions at his home. As the Herald watched yesterday, relaxed bail on the eve of the hearing saw Brierley whisked away from his home in an Audi A8 into a stormy Sydney evening.