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Update after 95yo allegedly tasered by cop

Manslaughter charges have been laid in the case of the fatal tasering of Clare Nowland. Picture: Supplied
Manslaughter charges have been laid in the case of the fatal tasering of Clare Nowland. Picture: Supplied

A police officer who allegedly recklessly tasered a 95-year-old woman in her aged care home has had his charge upgraded to manslaughter.

Clare Nowland was suffering an episode when she was allegedly tasered in a Cooma nursing home by Senior Constable Kristian White on May 17.

She died in hospital about a week later.

Clare Nowland, the 95-year-old dementia patient who died after allegedly being tasered by police. Picture: Supplied
Clare Nowland, the 95-year-old dementia patient who died after allegedly being tasered by police. Picture: Supplied

Earlier this year, the 33-year-old police officer was charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault over the incident.

On Wednesday, police charged Constable White with manslaughter after receiving advice from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and State Crime Command’s homicide squad.

Constable White remains suspended from duty with full pay and on bail in the Cooma community, where is prohibited from interacting with any of Mrs Nowland’s eight children, 24 grandchildren, or 30 great-grandchildren.

He will next appear at Cooma Local Court on December 6.

Police officers were called to the Yallambee Lodge aged care home in Cooma on May 17 following reports Mrs Nowland, who had dementia, was wandering around holding two kitchen knives.

COOMA, AUSTRALIA - NCA NewsWire Photos - 06 SEPTEMBER, 2023: Kristian White, the NSW Police officer who tasered Clare Nowland in an aged care facility before the 95-year-old great-grandmother died, pictured outside Cooma Courthouse. Picture: NCA NewsWire / JenSol Photography
Senior Constable Kristian White, who allegedly tasered Clare Nowland, has been charged with manslaughter. Picture: NCA NewsWire / JenSol Photography

The dementia patient allegedly wheeled her walking frame into the rooms of three residents and leant over their beds.

Police allege at one stage she threw a knife at one of the carers that landed on the ground.

The staff called triple-0 and Constable White and a female colleague were called out of bed to attend the aged care home.

Upon the officers’ arrival, they had to search the facility for Mrs Nowland and found her in an office with a knife and torch in her hand.

Both officers allegedly made attempts to ask her to drop the knife before she allegedly raised her hand and pointed the knife at them.

Police allege Constable White activated the Taser’s warning device and pointed it at the chest of the 43kg woman.

Mrs Nowland died in hospital a week after the incident. Picture: Supplied
Mrs Nowland died in hospital a week after the incident. Picture: Supplied

“Clare, stop now, see this, this is a Taser,” he allegedly cautioned the great-grandmother, according to police documents.

“Drop it now, drop it, this is your first warning.

“See, you are going to get tased.”

The knife was raised in Mrs Nowland’s hand when Constable White said “stop just … nah bugger it” and discharged the stun gun into her chest, according to police.

The 95-year-old fell backwards and struck “her head heavily on the wooden floor” of the nursing home.

She sustained an inoperable bleed on her brain and died at Cooma Hospital a week later.

While she was still fighting for life in hospital, her family filed a civil case against the state of NSW for negligence and trespass to a person.