The family of great-grandmother Clare Nowland have been provided with new details involving the 95-year-old’s final moments before allegedly being tasered at her aged care home in NSW.
A police statement of facts on the incident was released to NSW Supreme Court on Wednesday, July 19, with the contents detailing the full account of what allegedly happened during the incident.
Nowland, who suffered from dementia, died on May 24 after fracturing her skull from a critical fall allegedly caused by a state police officer who tased her at her aged care home after she was found carrying a knife.
After the failed efforts by two police officers to convince Nowland to drop the knife as she allegedly approached them on her walking frame, Senior Constable Kristian White allegedly said “Stop just … na bugger it,” before deploying the taser.
The court documents also alleged that Nowland was walking around the home, carrying two knives, before she was initially found by a nurse. The nurse had asked Nowland to drop the knives, to which she allegedly replied “No.”
Nowland was then seen holding the knives while standing at the foot of the bed belonging to another resident.
It was then that a staff member had tried, but failed, to contact Nowland’s family. She was then allegedly advised to call the facilities manager and an ambulance to have Nowland sedated and taken to hospital. It was also around this time that Nowland had allegedly thrown one of the knives at a carer.
White and his partner arrived at the nursing home shortly after. Court documents allege police officers continued to try and persuade Nowland to put down the knife saying, “Clare, stop now, see this, this is a taser, drop it now, drop it, this is your first warning.”
When Nowland did not respond, White allegedly said: “See you are going to get tasered … Clare stop.”
It is reported that Nowland was allegedly tased twice, once in front of her chest and once in her back, which resulted in her falling over and hitting her head.
Court documents have also alleged that prosecutors have called White’s actions “grossly disproportionate” and “excessive” given Nowland’s age and physical ability.
Shortly after the release of the police statement of facts, Nowland’s family issued their own statement.
“The facts alleged against Mr White are extremely confronting and shocking,” the Nowland family’s lawyer said.
“Clare’s family ask that they are please given privacy and space while they consider this latest information.”
The Nowlands have also filed a civil lawsuit against the NSW government, seeking damage for alleged battery and assault that occurred prior to her passing.