An inquest into the death of Matthew Leveson has resulted in the coroner delivering an open finding, leaving his family in tears.
In May, Leveson’s former boyfriend Michael Atkins led police to a site in the Royal National Park where remains identified as Leveson’s were recovered.
Leveson went missing in 2007, aged 20, after a night out at ARQ with Atkins, then 45.
“I regret that my findings cannot meet the family’s hopes and expectations,” said Deputy State Coroner Elaine Truscott.
“I do not accept Mr Atkins is a person of truth. The lies he has told do not allow me to make a finding that any act performed by him caused Matt’s death.”
The findings nevertheless damned Atkins, including 72 references to lies told surrounding Leveson’s death.
Atkins had told police he didn’t kill Matt but had just disposed of his body in a panic after a drug overdose.
Speaking on the steps of Glebe Coroner’s Court, Mark Leveson said that the coroner had legally gone as far as she was able to.
“She named Michael Atkins over and over and over again. His lies, his deception,” he said.
“Because of his deception and cover-up for so long, Matt’s been in the ground for so many years now, when he was finally found there wasn’t much there to test.”
Atkins was granted immunity for giving evidence to the inquest, and again later for perjury charges when he agreed to lead police to Leveson’s body.
Faye Leveson said they had been forced to choose between finding their son’s body and getting justice over his death.
“Sadly, we were forced into this corner,” she said. “And Matty comes out first every time.”