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Case against murder accused ‘a college of red herrings’

Posted December 08, 2015 22:03:47

The case against a man accused of murdering punk rock fan Nicholas Sofer-Schreiber is “a school of red herrings” and “stinking kippers by the dozen”, his lawyer has told a court.

Christopher Navin, 29, has admitted stabbing Mr Sofer-Schreiber to death, but has pleaded not guilty to murder by explanation of mental impairment in the ACT Supreme Court.

Significantly of the trial, which has run for 3 weeks so far, has been devoted to evidence about Navin’s mental well being and regardless of whether he was suffering psychosis at the time of the killing.

The crown outlined a case suggesting Navin was motivated by animosity, soon after he blamed the victim for isolating him from close friends in the punk rock scene.

The pair had fallen out when they shared a home, with the victim taking legal action against Navin, partly more than damage to Mr Sofer-Schreiber’s garage.

The case was resolved and pals mentioned Navin laughed it off.

Prosecutors also detailed forensic evidence about blood patterns, suggesting the victim was not first stabbed at the front door, where Navin said the attack started, but at his dining table.

The court heard Navin attempted to cover up the crime by burning the knives and other evidence, and that he lied to the police.

Another essential piece of evidence was repeated phone calls and text messages Navin produced to the victim shortly just before the killing, to which Mr Sofer-Schreiber did not responded, in spite of the pair agreeing to meet up for lunch.

Prosecutor Margaret Jones told the jury many of Navin’s actions afterward suggested he knew what he did was incorrect.

“He goes to the funeral, and you may discover that was to give a veneer of innocence,” she mentioned.

It was clear proof of someone getting dictated to by psychosis.

Stuart Littlemore

She also told the court he gave varying accounts to the psychiatrists.

Navin’s personal account recommended the decision to kill the victim solidified when he left his parents on Boxing Day.

For months he stated he had it in his thoughts that the voices in his head have been in league with Mr Sofer-Schreiber and he must make friends with him, as he feared he was a threat to his family.

By the time of the killing, he believed the victim was organizing to hire a hit man to kill members of his family members.

Navin said he saw warning indicators, including when he went to feed a friend’s cats and saw a book with the words “on the loose”.

He said he took that to mean there was a hit man on the loose.

Then at his parents’ residence, he saw a piece of wire in the shape of a noose on a bench and saw his mother move a necklace in a manner that produced him consider she was in quick danger.

Landmarks for psychosis did not modify: Littlemore

Nicholas Sofer-Schreiber Photo: Nicholas Sofer-Schreiber was found stabbed to death in his Canberra apartment on December 29, 2013. (Supplied: ACT Policing)

The prosecution pointed to differences in the narrative told to many psychiatrists who treated and interviewed Navin, some a lot more than a year later, as evidence he was not telling the truth.

But defence barrister Stuart Littlemore described it as “a case theory that is irresponsible and mindlessly prejudiced”.

He stated it would be unusual if the stories were precisely the exact same.

“But the landmarks along the road for the psychosis did not modify,” he said.

Mr Littlemore said it simply was not accurate that Navin was socially isolated, and said he had contact with buddies and family.

He stated his actions could be explained in the context of his mental illness.

“It was clear proof of an individual being dictated to by psychosis,” he stated.

Mr Littlemore told the jury there was 1 situation to make a decision: “The only genuine query is how psychotic he was on Boxing Day two years ago, when he knocked on the door of the Lyneham property.”

The case is continuing.

Topics: murder-and-manslaughter, crime, law-crime-and-justice, lyneham-2602, act, australia, canberra-2600

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