New Zealand investor Ron Brierley gets reduced sentence | The Advertiser – Cessnock

Ron Brierley could be released from prison in less than a fortnight after the sick multimillionaire saw his sentence reduced for possession of child pornography.

His attorney challenged the term on Tuesday, citing his client’s deteriorating condition, which he said had not been adequately treated in prison.

The 84-year-old was jailed in October for 14 months with a seven-month period without parole, which was due to expire on May 13.

But he will now be eligible for release three months early after the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal cleared the challenge.

Judges Robert Beech-Jones, Ian Harrison and Des Fagan sentenced Brierley to 10 months with a four-month free parole period.

Noting Brierley’s declining health, his lawyer Tim Game SC spoke in particular about the inability of the prison’s medical services to deal with the consequences of the removal of skin cancers from his leg.

While the dermatologist said he had to be hospitalized for three weeks after surgery that included skin grafting, he was returned to his cell the same day.

Despite having to change the dressing on his large wound, he had to rely on help from another inmate and the stitches broke.

The former high-profile New Zealand corporate thief pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing child pornography material found on devices in his luggage at the airport and at his home in Point Piper, by the harbor from Sydney.

Brierley had over 40,000 images, many of which were duplicates, of prepubescent girls in bathing suits, underwear or other clothing, in sexually suggestive poses.

It also had two sexually explicit stories involving child victims and an image of a naked girl posing on a bed.

The charges led to him being stripped of his knighthood and having his name cleared from the many organizations he helped.

During the presentations, Judge Fagan said Justice Health’s resources were “obviously stretched thin” and a “very concerning situation” had developed.

The difference between being hospitalized for three weeks and being sent back to a cell to be helped by a cellmate “is very, very big in an older man,” he said.

Mr Game spoke of other health issues, including Brierley having lost a lot of weight and only showering every 10 days due to concerns about falls.

He also argued that Judge Sarah Huggett erred in her sentencing by repeatedly noting the lengthy period the abuse material had been in Brierley’s possession when the charges referred to a particular date.

While past possession was relevant, he was not convicted for it.

“Her Honor believes she is convicted of possession over an extended period of time,” he said.

The district court judge had rejected a defense argument that a community sentence would be appropriate.

The Crown had accepted that the charges had a low level of seriousness, saying a short jail term was appropriate.

The prosecutor told the Court of Appeal that the judge also considered the hardships Brierley would face in prison due to his age and medical condition.

The judges will release their reasons for allowing the appeal at a later date.

Brierley did not appear in court in person or via audio link.

Australian Associated Press