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Musician Pleads Not Guilty To Canberra Punk Scene Identity’s Murder

A Canberra punk musician has pleaded not guilty to the stabbing murder of Canberra and Sydney punk rock scene fixture Nicholas Sofer-Schreiber after being arrested and charged over the weekend.

ABC News reports 27-year-old Watson man Christopher David Navin was arrested and charged for the murder last Friday, 14th February.

Navin appeared in the ACT Magistrates bail court early Saturday morning. He did not apply for bail and through solicitor Peter Woodhouse pleaded not guilty. Navin remained silent during the hearing, which attracted more than 20 people reports The Canberra Times.

Police launched a major homicide investigation after Sofer-Schreiber, also 27, was found dead in his Lyneham, Canberra home late last December, having suffered multiple stab wounds.

Detective Superintendent of Criminal Investigations Paul Shakeshaft told Fairfax the arrest was made when the “intensive and exhaustive” seven-week investigation led police to a property in Grafton, New South Wales.

No motive for the murder has been put forward by police. It is believed that Navin and Sofer-Schreiber were known to each other. Both travelled in the same circles and were heavily involved in Canberra’s punk scene. Navin has played in various punk bands, written for local street press BMA and at one time ran his own independent record label.

Sofer-Schreiber, who was legally blind, was affectionately dubbed the “Ginger Ninja” by friends. His tragic death triggered an outpouring of grief and sympathy from the national and international community, with US band Strung Out offering condolences and describing Sofer-Schreiber as “a nice, humble, kind person”.

Detective Superintendent Shakeshaft also offered his condolences, saying, “For the friends and family of Mr Sofer-Schreiber, we are sorry for your loss, which we know you deal with every day, however hope this arrest gives you some peace of mind.”

Sofer-Schreiber’s friends are raising money for a punk festival to be held in his honour. Navin is due back in court on 24th April.

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