Search to continue for Matthew Leveson's body, as former partner Michael Atkins assists police

Detectives will continue their search for the remains of missing Sydney man Matthew Leveson at the Royal National Park, south of Sydney, tomorrow after beginning the hunt today with the assistance of his former partner.

Mr Leveson’s former partner Michael Atkins, 53, has been helping police with their inquiries since Friday last week after being compelled to give evidence at an inquest.

Mr Leveson, 20, was last seen outside Sydney nightclub ARQ with Mr Atkins on the night he disappeared.

His body has never been found.

In February 2012, a $100,000 reward was announced for information leading to the discovery of Mr Leveson’s body.

In 2009, Mr Atkins was acquitted of murdering his former partner after a trial during in which he exercised his right to silence.

He was due to resume giving evidence for a sixth day at an inquest in Sydney on Thursday but the hearing was adjourned until the afternoon.

It is believed homicide detectives have been negotiating with Mr Atkins and his lawyers since Friday.

Deputy state coroner Elaine Truscott compelled Mr Atkins to give evidence and granted him immunity from prosecution, which means any evidence he gives cannot be used against him in a criminal trial.

Police said detectives received information that led them to the Royal National Park this morning, where an extensive search was conducted and a crime scene was established.

Police cordoned off an area of bush about four kilometres from the Waterfall entrance to the Royal National Park.

At least four detectives were on site and a forensics van was parked on the side of the road.

A bushwalking track is inside the crime scene area.

The search will resume on Friday.

Mr Leveson’s parents Faye and Mark Leveson spoke briefly outside Glebe Coroner’s Court.


“I’m sorry but for the time being we just can’t talk to you. The police have asked me not to say anything at this stage, we’ve got to respect that,” Mr Leveson said.

“So please understand and be patient, when we can talk to you, we will, but for right now we just can’t say anything. So thank you all for your interest … it’s really appreciated.”

Late on Thursday afternoon, the Levesons visited the site where police are searching.

The office of NSW AttorneyGeneral Gabrielle Upton confirmed a deal had been struck with Mr Atkins.

Under the deal, he was given indemnity from prosecution for perjury and contempt of court during his evidence at the inquest.

But the deal is dependent on him providing information to police leading to the recovery of Mr Leveson’s body.

Ms Upton said she granted the indemnity following discussions with the Leveson family earlier this week.

“I had the privilege to speak to Matthew’s parents Mark and Faye Leveson earlier this week who told me they support the granting of this conditional immunity,” she said.

“Importantly the conditional immunity only covers prosecution for any perjury and contempt of court offences.”

Atkins apologised to Mr Leveson’s parents during inquest

During the inquest, Mr Atkins apologised to his missing partner’s parents “for their loss” while answering questions about Mr Leveson’s presumed death.

Mr Leveson’s parents stood with their arms wrapped around each other facing Mr Atkins as he gave evidence.

Counsel assisting the inquest Lester Fernandez asked Mr Atkins to address the Leveson family.

Mr Atkins told the family he was sorry for their loss but said he did not kill Mr Leveson.

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