Faye and Mark Leveson held up two powerful images as they attended the inquest into their son, Matthew’s death at Glebe Coroner’s Court yesterday.
One picture was of the 20-year-old’s smiling face, the other of his bones reassembled on a table, after they were unearthed from where former boyfriend Michael Atkins buried them in the Royal National Park south of Sydney back in 2007.
In the second picture, Matthew’s skull is shattered and his hands are missing. The first was taken just weeks before his untimely death.
“This is what Atkins did to him,” Mrs Leveson said to the assembled media.
“You don’t leave someone you love like that,” Mr Leveson added.
Last year Atkins agreed to lead police to Matthew’s remains in exchange for immunity from perjury and contempt of court charges.
If (Atkins) was truly genuine and loved Matt as he says, he would have told us where Matt was on September 23, 2007,” Mrs Leveson continued.
“The only reason he gave us back Matt in May this year is because he was under threat of having to go to jail on perjury charges.”
Outside court afterwards, she added: “He should have been there to listen, to hear what we had to say.
“Everybody in the court heard what he had to say but the one person who should’ve had to listen to what we had to say was him. He put Matt in the ground.”
She told the inquest they will always wonder if he suffered and she will go to her grave not knowing what happened.
Atkins was acquitted of murder and manslaughter in 2009.
He’s since told NSW Police he decided to bury the body to protect his reputation after he found his young boyfriend dead from a drug overdose.