Police officer who tasered 95-year-old gran with dementia twice charged with GBH
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A police officer has been charged after allegedly tasering a 95-year-old woman twice.
Clare Nowland was found holding a knife by staff at Yallambee Lodge in New South Wales, Australia, recently.
Police were then called to the care home, where they attempted to disarm the dementia patient.
However, Mrs Nowland was subsequently tasered, and suffered a fractured skull.
She is currently receiving end-of-life care at Cooma District Hospital, surrounded by her family.
NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb has now announced that one of the officers involved in the incident has been charged with grievous bodily harm.
Speaking during a press conference, she said: "Within the last hour, New South Wales Police have commenced legal action against a 33-year-old senior constable from Monaro Police District for the offences of recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and assault.
"He will appear at the Cooma local court on Wednesday (5 July) this year.
"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."
The entire incident was recorded on the police officers' bodycam, which has been used as evidence as part of the investigation.
Commissioner Webb previously said that she wouldn't watch the footage back before all of the statements and other evidence are reviewed.
Speaking to Sydney’s Radio 2GB on Monday, Webb said: “It may be the case in the future where I have to make a determination based on a brief of evidence, without being tainted by having seen a part of the brief without context.
“It’s important that we follow a process. I will make my determination impartially.”
Mrs Nowland's family believe that she may have been holding a knife at the time as she was buttering some toast.
Police, however, said they felt threatened by the encounter.
Andrew Thaler, who knows the family, told the Guardian Australia: "The police tasered this woman twice, once in front of her chest, and once in the back, then she’s fallen and struck her head.
“The family are grieving because they don’t expect their nan to make it through the day, or tomorrow at the latest."