Search icon


19th May 2023

Pensioner, 95, fighting for her life after being tasered by police at nursing home

Steve Hopkins

Nowland was moving ‘at a slow pace’ and using a walking frame while holding the knife

A 95-year-old woman with dementia is in a critical condition in hospital after being tasered by police at her nursing home.

Clare Nowland was tasered by police in Cooma, a town in New South Wales, Australia in an incident that has caused widespread outrage.

Police have launched an investigation into the incident that was sparked after Nowland was found holding a serrated steak knife during the early hours of Wednesday morning at Yallambee Lodge nursing home.

Nowland had left her bedroom, taken a knife from a kitchen and walked to a medical treatment room.

Staff called police around 4.15am and two officers responded along with paramedics.

According to reports, the officers tried to “de-escalate the matter” for a “number of minutes”.

Nowland, who weighs around 43kgs, was tasered as she slowly made her way towards the police. She fell to the ground and hit her head.

North South Wales elevated the investigation to a “level one” stage due to the fact the injury could lead to death.

At a press conference, police assistant commissioner Peter Cotter said the injury Nowland suffered was as a result of hitting her head.

When asked if Nowland was engaging with police in a threatening way, Cotter said she was moving “at a slow pace” and using a walking frame.

“But she had a knife,” he added.

The officer who deployed the taser, who has 12 years of experience in the job, has stood down from duties.

Nowland is well-known locally, having spent years doing volunteer work in the community.

Related links:

Phillip Schofield’s brother Timothy jailed for sexually abusing boy

Starving boy, 10, found wandering street looking for supermarket to beg for food

German Shepherd spotted alone in the rain clutching toy is finally rescued