7 September 2023

Officer who allegedly tasered a 95-year-old woman appears in Cooma Local Court

| Gail Eastaway
The police officer who allegedly tasered a 95-year-old woman who later died, has appeared in Cooma Local Court.

The police officer who allegedly tasered a 95-year-old woman who later died, has appeared in Cooma Local Court. Photo: Gail Eastaway.

A senior NSW police constable who allegedly tasered a 95-year-old woman in Cooma in May, made his first appearance at Cooma Local Court on Wednesday (6 September).

Senior Constable Kristian White, 33, faced three charges resulting from an incident at Yallambee Lodge on 17 May, when it is alleged he tasered Mrs Clare Nowland who fell and fractured her skull as a result.

She died a week later.

Mrs Nowland was a resident of Yallambee Lodge, an aged care facility. At the time of the incident she was using a walker and carrying a steak knife.

White faced charges of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault. He has not yet entered any pleas to these charges.

His case was originally up for mention in Cooma Local Court on 5 July, when he and his solicitor appeared via video link, a move which angered Magistrate Roger Clisdell, who had not been advised White would not appear in person.

At the time Magistrate Clisdell said he was “absolutely disgusted” White had not appeared in person and refused an application for him to appear by video link on 6 September.

READ ALSO Cop allegedly said ‘nah bugger it’ before 95-year-old Clare Nowland was tasered

However, on Wednesday, White and his legal team were given permission to appear by video link at the next hearing on 4 October.

The prosecution sought an adjournment to complete their briefs, including the results of the postmortem examination of Mrs Nowland.

White ran the gauntlet of a heavy media presence at court on Wednesday, but did not respond to questions.

Mrs Nowland was a much-loved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was the matriarch of a large family, with her eight children, Michael, Denis, Bede, Gerard, Jenny, Lesley, Kerry and Gemma, providing their mother with 24 grandchildren – Simon (dec), Kym, Kylie, Andrew, Paul, Cindy, Scott, Rochelle, Marl, Tami, Leah, Scott, Tim, Jake, Clare, Lauren, Anna, Jaala, James, Ingrid, Daniel, Kynan, Montee and Emalee – and 30 great-grandchildren.

READ ALSO Cooma community mourns the death of Clare Nowland

The incident which led to her death shocked the local community and received worldwide media attention.

The township of Cooma and surrounding districts turned out in force to farewell Mrs Nowland. Several hundred mourners attended a Requiem Mass at St Patrick’s Catholic Church on 13 June.

Her family has initiated legal action against the NSW Government, with hearings held in Bega Court in recent months.

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