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Local News

Matthew Leveson's partner drew a detailed map leading police to his young lover’s bush grave

“I thought I could bury the body and nobody would know."

By Candice Mehta-Culjak
Michael Atkins drew a mud map detailing the exact spot he buried his younger lover's body, despite initially claiming he thought he could have fled overseas to start a new life.
The 54-year-old was acquitted in 2009 of murdering his boyfriend Matthew Leveson and was granted immunity from further prosecution.
It was only after this time -- close to a decade after Mr Leveson’s disappearance -- that he lead detectives to the two metre by one metre grave site in the Royal National Park, south of Sydney.
In a 2016 police statement released by a coroner on Thursday, which accompanied the map, Mr Atkins claimed he had buried Mr Leveson’s body after the younger man “died from a drug overdose” of the substance GHB.
"I went into the bedroom and saw that Matt was lying on the ground with his eyes open and he was not breathing and he had a funny colour and he was dead," he said.
"I did not know what to do and I just sat there with him. Later I was lying next to him I told him that I loved him.”
Leveson's parents never gave up hope of finding their son’s body.
Mr Atkins told police he decided to hide his boyfriend’s body, instead of calling paramedics, because he was concerned about his reputation.
“I was worrying about my reputation,” he said in his statement.
“I thought I could bury the body and nobody would know. I thought it would make it all better.”
He was also concerned that drugs were involved and that he had only recently come out as a homosexual.
“I did not want the drug thing to come out... I was worried what my family would think of me,” he said.
“I was worried about what my mother would think of me as she did not know I was gay.”
Matthew was last seen leaving a Sydney nightclub in September 2007. He was accompanied by his then 40-year-old partner.
Mr Leveson's mother, Faye Leveson, rejected the account of her son’s death.
"He had him in a unit with him for hours and didn't even call triple-zero - if you can believe what he said, and I don't," she told reporters in Sydney.
"I don't believe he (overdosed), I don't."
The inquest into Mr Leveson's death is expected to resume at the NSW Coroner’s Court on Friday.

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