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Atkins shopped while boyfriend missing

AAP logoAAP 2/11/2016 Miranda Forster

Days after his boyfriend went missing, Michael Atkins thought "it just seemed the time" to have sex with another man.

The inquest into the disappearance of 20-year-old Matthew Leveson has heard that in the days after he was last seen, CCTV footage and phone records show Mr Atkins went shoe shopping, had text exchanges with a number of people including a drug supplier and had sex with a man he'd met online.

Asked on Wednesday why he'd arrange to have sex while Mr Leveson was missing, Mr Atkins said the man was "always talking about meeting, so it just seemed the time to do it".

He told the Glebe Coroner's Court he thought Mr Leveson "was always just going to turn up the next day".

"I really thought he had just been having a princess attack as well, and I was thinking he was just having a bit of a go at me," he said.

Mr Atkins was 44 when Mr Leveson was last seen leaving Darlinghurst's ARQ nightclub with him in the early hours of September 23, 2007.

He was also captured on CCTV later that day buying a mattock and duct tape, with the receipt later found in Mr Leveson's abandoned car.

He had said he bought the equipment for gardening at their Cronulla unit, but agreed on Wednesday the mattock could be used for digging graves.

Counsel assisting, Lester Fernandez, suggested mattocks were used for digging trenches and breaking hard soil, and could be used to dig graves.

"Could be," Mr Atkins replied.

Mr Fernandez added: "Somewhere like the national park down south where you lived, agree?"

"Could be anywhere," Mr Atkins said.

He was given the mattock at the inquest on Wednesday, along with similar general purpose tape, and made to demonstrate how he had planned to use them.

Mr Atkins has previously described himself as a "keen gardener" but admitted on Wednesday he hadn't practised the hobby in the six years to 2006.

He showed the court how he planned to use the mattock to dig a garden bed, saying he needed the large tool because in his experience the dirt in Cronulla was "heavy and clay-like".

He said the tape was to secure his tomato plants to "some sort of stake", and he'd seen it used this way on a gardening show.

Mr Atkins told the inquest he fell asleep while watching TV with Mr Leveson at their unit after driving him home from the nightclub, and woke up alone.

Mr Atkins was acquitted of Mr Leveson's murder in 2009.

He is giving evidence at the hearing under protection of immunity, meaning his testimony can't be used against him in future prosecution.

The inquest continues.

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