Boys, booze and all night porn parties: Michael Atkins' new life in Brisbane

By Candace Sutton

Michael Atkins (pictured with Matthew Leveson) continued the party life with young men in Brisbane. Photo / Supplied
Michael Atkins (pictured with Matthew Leveson) continued the party life with young men in Brisbane. Photo / Supplied

As Matthew Leveson's parents watched police dig up a NSW forest in search of their son's remains, in Brisbane the party hasn't stopped for the man tried and acquitted of the 20-year-old's murder.

After leaving Sydney following his acquittal, Michael Atkins continued on in Brisbane partying with young men at a nightclub, taking them back to his flat for sex, a former young friend of Mr Atkins told news.com.au.

"He called them 'pool parties for porn stars' and he'd want the youngest and most attractive men he could find and we'd get ludicrously drunk and out of it," the former friend said.

Matthew Leveson was 20 when he vanished in 2007. Photo / News Limited
Matthew Leveson was 20 when he vanished in 2007. Photo / News Limited

"He was always groping us. He'd want everyone's shirts off and then he'd be grabbing young guys on the a**e.

"We just thought he was an old guy trying to have fun while he still can."

Michael Peter Atkins, now 54 years old, was granted immunity from prosecution for telling police the location of the body of Matthew Leveson, his former lover who vanished after a drug-fuelled evening at a Sydney nightclub in 2007.

Last week, Mr Atkins led homicide detectives to a spot in the Royal National Park, 26km south of Sydney, where Matthew's parents Mark and Faye Leveson anxiously watched an excavator dig until police halted the search on Thursday.

The Levesons, who agreed to Mr Atkins' immunity deal in an effort to end their nine-year search for Matthew's remains, now face an uncertain wait.

Evidence at a 2009 murder trial and at the ongoing inquest into Mr Leveson's death has heard detailed accounts of Mr Atkins' drug supply of ecstasy and GHB to young men with whom he had sex.

His seedy past laid bare during the inquest and court proceedings revealed an older, sexually promiscuous man who was heavily into the drug scene.

Young men gave evidence that he gave them vials of the dangerous "date rape" drug GHB and days before he went missing Matthew Leveson complained that Mr Atkins wanted threesomes with younger men.

Michael Atkins left Sydney after being acquitted of Matthew Leveson's murder. Photo / Toby Zerna, News Corp Australia
Michael Atkins left Sydney after being acquitted of Matthew Leveson's murder. Photo / Toby Zerna, News Corp Australia

Matthew appeared badly affected by drugs, probably GHB, on the night he vanished.

The former friend of Mr Atkins told news.com.au that he and other friends had been startled to learn that the older man who partied hard with them and continually had new young sex partners had once been charged with murder.

"I was friends with Michael Atkins and he used to personally train us when we went to the gym," he said.

"He lived with his boyfriend Craig, who was a lot younger than Mike, about 18 years old, in a flat near The Beat nightclub in the Valley and we would go out all the time and get totally out of it.

"Basically that was Michael's whole life when he wasn't at work, every single weekend.

"He was working as an electrician somewhere nearby but he would never talk about his past life.

"He was alway very vague and would sometimes say weird things, but people do that all the time and we wouldn't think anything of it.

"Nobody knew anything about Matthew Leveson."

Faye Leveson, the mother of Matthew Leveson, in the Royal National Park where the search for her son was halted on Thursday. Photo / Jeremy Piper, News Corp Australia
Faye Leveson, the mother of Matthew Leveson, in the Royal National Park where the search for her son was halted on Thursday. Photo / Jeremy Piper, News Corp Australia

The friend said the "pool parties for porn stars" intensified whenever Mr Atkins' partner Craig was away.

He said Mr Atkins would "go back and forth from The Beat to his flat with a different boy each time, several times a night".

"You'd think if he had that history, he wouldn't be drawing attention to himself, but he was always groping young boys and posing in photos at his pool parties.

"But I guess he's a typical old guy on that scene, partying while he's still got some time."

- news.com.au

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