Barrister says cop who tasered 95-year-old woman could have his charges upgraded to murder
| Last updated
An Australian barrister has warned the police officer who tasered a 95-year-old could wind up facing a murder charge in the wake of the woman's death.
On May 17, the elderly woman grabbed a knife from the kitchen of Yallambee Lodge, the New South Wales aged care facility she called home, and took it with her as she shuffled around on her walking frame.
Police were called to the nursing home, which was when 33-year Constable Kristian White attempted to disarm the dementia patient by firing a taser at her twice.
When she was struck by the projectile weapon, the 45-kilogram woman fell and struck her head.
She fractured her skull, which invariably lead to her death more than one week later in hospital.
White has been suspended with pay from his job with the NSW Police Force.
He has also since been charged with recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and assault.
NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said in a press conference: "This matter now is before the court - there's little more that I can say about it, other than to say that the Nowland family have been informed of this development and our thoughts and prayers are with Mrs Nowland and her family this evening.
"I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the detectives that have worked around the clock on this to get to this point within seven days of that accident... a nasty incident involving Mrs Nowland and the serious charges are now before the court."
"He will appear at the Cooma local court on Wednesday (5 July) this year.
However, a barrister believes those charges could be upgraded by the time he faces court.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, the Sydney-based senior counsel said: "It would more likely be manslaughter. But it will be upgraded.
"It could be murder.
"Murder requires intent to inflict grievous bodily harm."
The barrister added prosecutors may go for a murder charge if they think it can be proven White showed 'reckless indifference to human life'.
They added: "It would need the foresight of the probability of death arising from the act. This is indeed an ideal case for that."
LADbible approached NSW Police for comment on the matter.