The police officer who was charged with the assault of a 95 year old great grandmother in her care home, who later died, allegedly uttered three words before he discharged his Taser.
Clare Nowland died in Cooma Hospital, in southern New South Wales, on Wednesday.
Her death came after an incident at the Yallambee Lodge aged care home in Cooma early on May 17 after Ms Nowland, who has dementia, was found by staff holding a steak knife.
More information has now reportedly come to light about the incident.
The Daily Telegraph has reported that a police investigation has looked into the sequence of events that led to Ms Nowland being Tasered.
Clare Nowland was allegedly tasered by police at an aged care home in Cooma. Picture: ABC News.
Senior Constable Kristian White and another female acting sergeant were in attendance. Ambulance officers were also at the facility and were attempting to get Ms Nowland to hand over the steak knife.
Slowly, the 95-year-old got to her feet and, using her walker, approached the officers still holding the knife.
The female sergeant with Sen Const White allegedly said “I can take it (the knife) off her,” The Daily Telegraph reported.
Sen Const White then allegedly sparked the Taser as a warning to Ms Nowland.
When that didn’t work, it’s alleged he then said “No, bugger it,” and fired the Taser.
Ms Nowland is said to have fallen backwards and hit her head fracturing her skull.
She was taken to Cooma Hospital and was “in and out of consciousness”.
Her family were by her side while she received end-of-life care. Ms Nowland died a week later.
Senior Constable Kristian White, 33, is facing three charges including recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault. Picture: 9 NEWS
Sen Const White, 33, will face charges of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault when he fronts Cooma Local Court on July 5, police said.
He has been suspended on full pay.
NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said it was “possible” the charges could be upgraded “depending on what happens.
The police commissioner said the charges come after a “proper investigation that is not prejudiced”.
Clare Nowland skydives to celebrate her 80th birthday in 2008. Picture: ABC News.
“I’m confident that we have come to a position now, seven days later, that this matter is before the court without interference,” Ms Webb said.
She said bodycam footage of the incident alone did not lead to the charging of the officer, but rather “all the evidence”, including witness statements and expert testimony.
Ms Webb said on Wednesday that she had not watched the body-camera footage of the incident but had “heard what‘s in the footage”.
“I am concerned about what that will reveal and that will be brought out in court, like any other matter,” she said.
NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb. Picture: Adam Yip
NSW Police have come under heavy scrutiny in the wake of the incident, with Ms Webb saying that it’s not yet known why the confrontation was handled in that way by officers.
“We don’t know why the aged care facility called police in the first place,” she said on the Today Show.
“Police officers are trained in a number of tactical options to use the least amount of force.
“Until we actually understand why, we won’t really know.”
Tasered 95yo dies after cop chargedCop stood down over Tasering of 95yo
Ms Nowland’s family have previously thanked the public for their support and described the ordeal as a “worrying and distressing time”.
In a statement they lauded Ms Nowland as a “Well respected, much loved and a giving member of her local community” and the “loving and gentle-natures matriarch of the Nowland family”.