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Atkins' lies about Matt chilling: father

AAP logoAAP 3/11/2016 Toby Mann

The parents of a young Sydney man who disappeared nine years ago say listening to a week of "lies" from the man acquitted of his murder was "chilling" and draining.

Mark and Faye Leveson have spent years searching for any trace of their son Matthew, who was last seen leaving Darlinghurst's ARQ nightclub with boyfriend Michael Atkins.

After losing a legal challenge against answering questions at an inquest into the 20-year-old's disappearance, Mr Atkins spent a tense week being grilled by counsel assisting Lester Fernandez.

During proceedings Mark Leveson was sitting in prime position at the bar table after being granted leave to question the man he thinks knows much more than he's saying.

During Friday's evidence the parents stood together in court and stared down Mr Atkins as he made a muted apology after a barrage of confronting questions from Mr Fernandez.

"Look at them not me. Look at them. Look at them," Mr Fernandez said.

"Do you know how Matt died? The Leveson family believe you killed Matt."

Atkins said "No. I didn't kill Matt."

Mr Atkins then offered them an apology, saying: "I want to say sorry, I suppose."

"For your heartache," he said when asked about what he was sorry about.

"Are you able to tell them where Matt's body is?" Mr Fernandez asked sternly.

"Do you know where he is?"

Mr Atkins said no, and he didn't know if Mr Leveson was still alive.

He was due to finish his evidence on Friday but will return to Glebe Coroner's Court next Thursday to face another grilling.

The Levesons said they were "drained" and hadn't learnt anything new from Mr Atkins' answers.

"With what we know from the past it was chilling confronting him and his responses were also chilling," Mark Leveson told reporters.

When asked about what he made of the week's evidence he added: "a reinforcement of all the lies".

But they aren't giving up hope of finding out what happened to their son.

"It's a long process, there's a lot more to go," he said.

"We've learnt to have a lot of patience over the last nine years.

"We're not giving up."

Earlier on Friday, Mr Atkins had trouble recalling what had happened to a digging tool and tape he bought on the day Mr Leveson disappeared.

He was also warned by Deputy State Coroner Elaine Truscott to "think" about his conflicting answers and whether he did know if Mr Leveson was dead.

Atkins admitted several times at the inquest that he had lied to police about buying the mattock as it could have looked bad and had arranged to have sex with another man only days after Mr Leveson disappeared.

When asked by Mr Fernandez on Thursday that he had lied about buying the tools during a police interview, Mr Atkins said: "I was worried I suppose".

The inquest started on Monday with a sensational claim by Mr Atkins, who speculated Mr Leveson may have gone to Thailand seeking to "start afresh" after the pair had a drugged-up row before leaving the club.

In 2009 Mr Atkins was acquitted of murdering his partner.

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