The partner of former Australian Border Force boss Roman Quaedvlieg broke two laws during a corruption investigation due to a tension between "the law and love", a Sydney court has been told.
Sarah Jane Chisholm Rogers, 24, faced a sentence hearing at Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to disclosing to Mr Quaedvlieg she'd been summoned to appear at a secret federal integrity inquiry and then misleading that inquiry.
The inquiry was investigating claims Mr Quaedvlieg had abused his power to help Rogers get an ABF job at Sydney Airport. The scandal cost the border force boss his job in March 2018.
Rogers repeatedly falsely told the integrity inquiry that Mr Quaedvlieg hadn't given her advice on how to apply for the job at the ABF, agreed facts state.
"Overall this is a tension between the law and the emotional entanglement of being in a relationship with someone (subject to the inquiry)," Rogers' lawyer, Bryan Wrench, told the court.
"It's a conflict of loyalties in some ways."
Mr Wrench said his client had done her best not to disclose anything about the inquiry but arrangements to receive the summons were made while she was beside Mr Quaedvlieg.
He added his client, who was diagnosed with anxiety in 2014, expressed she was stressed to her long-term partner and sought his advice on what she'd face at the inquiry.
Mr Quaedvlieg told Rogers to just tell the truth.
"If she'd accepted the advice, there might be one less charge," Mr Wrench said.
"She was a mouse in a political jungle."
However, crown prosecutor Jennifer Single argued the matter wasn't trivial and any punishment must include a conviction.
"(Disclosing the summons) isn't a case of just maybe nodding 'yes' to her partner in answer to a question or by being silent," she said.
"This is a blatant disregard of the law and a deliberate breach."
Ms Single said Rogers had shown very little remorse and contrition.
She referred to a sentencing report on Rogers that stated she'd expressed regret about how her family and employment prospects had been affected by the court matter.
"That's all self-centred regret," Ms Single said.
Magistrate Jennifer Atkinson is expected to hand down her decision on July 29.
Australian Associated Press