Prosecutors say police tasering 95-year-old aged care resident was ‘grossly disproportionate’
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Prosecutors allege the actions of a NSW Police officer accused of tasering an elderly dementia patient were 'a grossly disproportionate response and excessive use of force'.
In May, 95-year-old Clare Nowland died in hospital a week after she fell and fractured her skull during a confrontation with officers while holding a knife at Yallambee Lodge in Cooma.
Senior Constable Kristian White faces charges of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault.
According to court documents, prosecutors allege White said 'nah, bugger it' before tasering the great grandmother.
At around 3:10am on May 17, a nurse observed Nowland walking through a corridor at the care home, carrying two kitchen knives. The nurse asked her to hand them over but she responded 'no'.
Police allege Nowland then entered the rooms of three different residents with the knives and threw 'one of the knives at the staff members, missing them'.
Staff attempted to notify Nowland's family before calling emergency services.
When Senior Constable White arrived with a colleague they found Nowland sitting in a treatment room.
They asked her to place the knife on the desk in front of her but she stood up instead using her walker.
Senior Constable White's colleague attempted to reach the knife but Nowland raised 'her right hand off the walker slightly and points the knife towards (the colleague), forcing her to retreat'.
According to police, he then drew his taser and repeatedly directed Nowland to stop as she moved slowly towards the doorway.
"Clare, stop now, see this, this is a taser, drop it now, drop it, this is your first warning," police allege he said as his colleague attempted to block the walker.
According to police documents, Senior Constable White was allegedly heard saying 'stop just...nah bugger it' before using the taser.
Prosecutors say White used 'excessive force' given Nowland's age and fragile state.
White, who is on bail, is due to appear before a Cooma court again on September 6.
Solicitor Sam Tierney said Nowland's family had read the documents.
"The facts alleged against Mr White are extremely confronting and shocking," he said.
"Clare's family ask that they are please given privacy and space while they consider this latest information to be released from NSW Police around the circumstances of Clare's death."