In a heartbreaking turn of events, Clare Nowland, a 95-year-old great-grandmother suffering from dementia, has tragically passed away on Wednesday night, just days after being tasered by a police officer at Yallambee Lodge in southern NSW. The incident occurred in the early hours of last Wednesday, when Ms. Nowland, who weighed only 43kg, was found holding a steak knife and allegedly approached the officer in a slow manner.
Senior Constable Kristian White, 33, responded by deploying a taser, causing Ms. Nowland to collapse, hit her head, and suffer a severe brain bleed. Despite being rushed to Cooma Hospital, her death was confirmed around 9pm on Wednesday, with her family at her side.
The gravity of the situation has led to charges being filed against Senior Constable White. He now faces charges of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault. NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb, speaking at a press conference, expressed her condolences to the Nowland family and stated that her thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.
White is scheduled to appear at Cooma Local Court on Wednesday, July 5, 2023. If found guilty of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, he could face up to 10 years in prison. Assault occasioning actual bodily harm carries a potential sentence of up to seven years, while conviction of common assault could result in a prison term of up to two years. Pending the investigation, Senior Constable White remains suspended from duty with pay. Commissioner Webb noted that his employment status will continue to be reviewed, and the charges against him could potentially be upgraded based on the outcome of the investigation.
Despite public demand, Commissioner Webb declined to release the footage of the incident, stating that she is not the investigator and leaving it to the appropriate authorities to handle the matter. According to the ABC,the police commissioner said she wanted to review the footage when she had a clearer picture of what had happened. “I may have to review that in time as a decision-maker in this organisation,” she said. “But I want to do that when I have a complete picture of what happened. “I don’t see any value in reviewing that footage now when I don’t know … what else happened pre and post-that incident.”