Six NSW police officers used two sets of handcuffs on a distressed 81-year-old dementia patient

Representational image  (PA Archive)
Representational image (PA Archive)

Six NSW police officials used two sets of handcuffs on a distressed 81-year-old woman battling dementia at her nursing home in Sydney, bodycam footage has revealed.

Rachel Grahame reportedly took a lanyard from a staff member at her Sydney nursing home in October 2020. Bodycam footage of police officials has revealed that the officers surrounded Grahame and handcuffed her late at night at St Basil’s aged care home in Randwick on 31 October 2020.

The crying and howling woman can be seen asking the officials why they are handcuffing her. Visibly in distress, she cries out to one of the officers and calls him a “big brute”.

The family of Grahame later sued the NSW police and the police settled the lawsuit in November 2021.

Now Rachel’s daughter, Emma Grahame has spoken publicly about the distressing incident. In an interview with the Guardian, she said: “It just showed me that the police have learned nothing from the actions that we took against them.”

Her comments come in the wake of revelations that police used a Taser on 95-year-old dementia patient, Clare Nowland in Cooma recently.

“This is one of the reasons I am happy to go public now, to point out that this is not the first time that this has happened. It might bring other people out as well,” she said.

The six officers physically restrained Grahame by holding her arms and legs, the bodycam video shows.

Grahame later needed to be taken to a hospital.

Ms Grahame obtained the video and police notes of the incident using the state’s freedom of information regime, Guardian reported.

The notes said that the care staff at the nursing home told police that Grahame was “aggressive” and was “forcefully sat in a chair by multiple nurses”.

Police notes say that when they arrived, she “struck out at one officer with her arm, striking the officer on the arm twice”.

Police also recorded that Grahame was trying to bite, kick and strike police while they held her arms and legs.

The notes say police were “unable to reason with her” and that she was speaking “incoherently throughout the encounter”.

Emma Grahame said her mother received no apology from the police. “The point is really, that they shouldn’t be there in the first place,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ms Nowland remained in critical condition after police used a Taser on her last week.