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24th May 2023

Grandmother, 95, who was tasered by police has died

Charlie Herbert

Police officer charged after tasering gran

The police officer was charged on Wednesday

A 95-year-old woman who was tasered twice by a police officer in a care home has died.

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

The grandmother, who suffered from dementia, had been found holding a serrated steak knife during the early hours of Wednesday morning at Yallambee Lodge nursing home.

She suffered a fractured skull after being tasered twice by one of the officers called to the scene.

After receiving end-of-life care at Cooma District Hospital, it was announced on Wednesday that she died,

Her death comes just hours after NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb has confirmed that the officer 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.”

Police were called to the care home at around 4.15am on Wednesday, with two officers arriving along with paramedics.

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

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

The 95-year-old, who weighed around 43kgs, was tasered as she slowly made her way towards the police. She fell to the ground and hit her head.

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.

The incident was recorded on the officer’s bodycam, with the footage being used as evidence as part of the investigation into what happened.

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