A former Oranga Tamariki social worker who used pornography and drugs to sexually groom a teen in her care then encouraged him to lie to police and "destroy" all the evidence.
The details of her offending can now be revealed by the Herald following the woman's sentencing on Friday in the Auckland District Court.
While entrusted by the state to care for children she instead started grooming a then 15-year-old with a series of messages, cannabis and sexually explicit photographs.
After police began investigating, following a tip-off from a concerned family member, the woman attempted to pervert the course of justice by asking her victim to "delete everything".
The ex-social worker, who is in her mid-30s and has interim name suppression, will now spend the next 10 months on home detention.
Crown prosecutor Henry Steele said it was simply the "sexual exploitation of a child".
"In terms of the breach of trust, I've described it as gross," Steele said.
Some of the offending came after the ex-social worker duped her victim and a then 14-year-old boy with the idea of going to the movies in Auckland's CBD.
Instead, they went to Mission Bay where she plied the two teens with cannabis and kissed her victim.
"You kissed and supplied him with cannabis on at least four occasions," Judge Chris Field said.
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Further offending included sending sexually explicit images and inviting the teen to take nude photos of himself.
The court heard the teen was in state care because he had already suffered abuse earlier in his life.
After the sexual offending, Steele said, the former OT worker then attempted to "persuade the victim to lie and to destroy evidence".
A text message from the social worker asked the teen to say nothing to police.
"Please if you have anything in your heart for me you will delete everything," the text from the former social worker read.
"Police will sweep our phones ... F*** I'm scared."
Steele said some of the offending photographs which were exchanged between the ex-social worker and her victim were deleted and never recovered by police.
He also argued the former Oranga Tamariki staffer, who was "entrusted by the state to care for him and act in his best interests", had later attempted to shift blame on her victim.
Any suggestion that the teen bears any responsibility, Steele said, should be "wholly rejected".
The ex-social worker's lawyer, Phil Hamlin, said his client had no intention to engage in victim blaming.
"Not an attempt to blame him at all, the responsibility is on her shoulders no matter what he did," Hamlin said.
The woman was a first time offender, Hamlin added, whose actions were "totally out of character".
"She has made huge, serious mistakes," he said. "She knows what she's done, she knows she'll never be a social worker again."
A psychologist's report, which was read in-part to the court, said the woman's offending may have resulted from her need for companionship and intimacy rather than sexual gratification.
It was a finding which Steele rejected.
"It's hard to see how that is not sexually motivated," he said, talking of the request for the teen to take graphic photos of himself.
"This is the sexual exploitation of a child at its core, and we should not forget that."
At the time the ex-social worker was also suffering from a "overwhelming workload" of 42 other vulnerable children cases, Judge Field said.
"That's an incredible workload," he added, calling it "burnout of the worst kind".
The woman, whose career passion had been to become a social worker, was also suffering from personal stresses, the court heard.
After sentencing her to home detention, Judge Field declined to make an order which would have placed the woman on the child sex offender register.
"I do not consider that you are likely to again offend against any child in anyway," he said.
"You do not, in my view, pose a continued threat."
Judge Field declined the woman's application for permanent name suppression, but Hamlin indicated a potential High Court appeal which invoked an interim gag order.
The woman was sentenced after earlier pleading guilty to meeting someone younger than 16 following sexual grooming, sexual conduct with a person under 16, exposing a young person to indecent material, two charges of supplying cannabis to a person under 18, and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Several people were supporting the ex-social worker in the public gallery during the hearing, many of whom later attempted to create a human shield outside court and ushered her into a waiting car, away from the Herald's photographer.
Glynis Sandland, deputy chief executive, Services for Children and Families North, Oranga Tamariki, told the Herald the department was "deeply disappointed by the behaviour of the former social worker".
"Her actions were a betrayal of trust, and the impact will be felt by those affected for many years," Sandland said.
"I would like to recognise the courage of the young person who is the victim of this offending. Our focus is on his wellbeing, and we continue to work with him and his family to ensure he is getting the support he needs.
"We expect all our staff to support and protect rangatahi, not harm them further."
Oranga Tamariki had earlier confirmed the woman's employment with the Government department ended after the allegations surfaced.
An internal investigation was also to be conducted, the Ministry for Children's deputy chief executive Alison McDonald had said.
Oranga Tamariki is responsible for the protection and care of children whose wellbeing is deemed to be at risk, youth offenders and children of the state.