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A 15-year-old boy who had sex with his mother's best friend has been left "a sad depressed boy", a Christchurch District Court judge was told today.

The boy's mother read her victim impact statement in court as her former best friend was sentenced for having sex with him.

She recalled how she had entrusted the boy to the woman as a babysitter for her children, and later learnt that the sex had occurred after the pair had taken party pills and alcohol.

"I have let my son down," said the mother.

She said he was "holding everything in, full of hate and self doubt".

The friend spoke to her a week later and showed no remorse when she said she had been having sex with her son.

The boy no longer lived with his mother and her two younger children missed him every day.

She believed the woman had taken advantage of a confused child and she disagreed with the order granting her name suppression.

Defence counsel Gilly Ferguson said the defendant, a mother of two daughters, accepted the hurt and impact on the boy's family.

She had taken steps to seek psychiatric help. She was diagnosed with depression and was now on anti-depressants.

She was remorseful and deeply ashamed, and now had to live with the guilt.

Judge Raoul Neave said the sex had been consensual and had been instigated by the boy, but the woman should have realised he was not mature.

She knew of his difficulties and had taken advantage of a young man.

The offending had clearly occurred at a low point in her life.

The 36-year-old woman had pleaded guilty to the charge of having sex with the under-age boy.

Judge Neave sentenced her to a year of home detention, and 200 hours of community work.

He granted final suppression of her name, to protect the woman's own daughters, one of whom was described as vulnerable.

He said the woman was assessed as being no further risk of offending.