7 December 2023

Police officer accused of killing Clare Nowland ordered to surrender passport

| Albert McKnight
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Clare Nowland

Clare Nowland died earlier this year after she was allegedly tasered. Photo: Supplied.

The police officer accused of killing 95-year-old Clare Nowland has been ordered to surrender his passport and not leave the country.

Kristian James Samuel White recently had his charges upgraded to manslaughter over the incident at Cooma’s Yallambee Lodge on 17 May 2023.

On Wednesday (6 December), the 33-year-old senior constable faced the Cooma Local Court in person on the first occasion since this more serious charge had been laid.

Magistrate Roger Clisdell told him he would continue his bail but ordered him to hand over his passport to the court’s staff, not apply for another one and not leave the country.

He also must be of good behaviour while he’s on bail and not contact any of Ms Nowland’s family.

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Mr White has previously been charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault.

According to details obtained from the court, these charges will likely be withdrawn.

The matter will return to court on 7 February 2024.

Afterwards, the lawyer for the Nowland family, Sam Tierney from Ken Cush & Associates, released a statement from them.

“The Nowland family were present at court today when the NSW DPP advised the court that NSW Police have now laid a charge of manslaughter/unlawful killing against Mr White in relation to his tasering of Clare,” he said.

“The family does not wish to comment further on the criminal process at this time given the extremely serious nature of the charge against Mr White, who continues to be a sworn NSW police officer.”

Previously released court documents, which were made public before he was charged with manslaughter, had claimed that around 3 am on the night of the incident, Ms Nowland was seen using her four-wheeled mobility walker to move through the lodge while carrying two kitchen knives.

A nurse allegedly asked the dementia patient for the knives, but she told her no. She allegedly carried them into three residents’ rooms and threw one of them at staff members but missed.

Staff had been trying to speak to her but ended up calling Triple Zero for paramedics at about 4 am. As information was provided suggesting a person at the lodge had a knife, a decision was made for police officers to attend as well.

man wearing a suit standing outside

Kristian James Samuel White allegedly tasered 95-year-old Clare Nowland. Photo: Gail Eastaway.

Senior Constable White was one of the two officers recalled to duty to attend the scene, arriving with a taser.

Meanwhile, staff had locked Ms Nowland in one of the resident’s rooms, but when paramedics arrived to see her, it was discovered that she had gone out through a back door so a search began to find her.

She was discovered in a room about 5 am, sitting in a chair and holding a knife and a torch. She was asked to drop the knife but put the torch down instead.

The documents allege that she started “making a slow attempt to get up” to stand with her mobility walker, knife in hand.

She then walked “very slowly” to the doorway, allegedly raising the knife towards her chest then pointing it towards the second officer.

“Clare, stop now, see this, this is a taser, drop it now, drop it, this is your first warning,” Mr White allegedly told her.

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She kept moving forward, and he allegedly turned on the audio and visual warning display on his taser and told her: “See, you are going to get tased”.

It is alleged when the second police officer tried to block Ms Nowland’s mobility walker, she stopped and pointed the knife towards the officer.

“Stop just … nah bugger it,” Mr White allegedly said before allegedly deploying his taser at her from about two metres away.

The taser’s probes struck her in the chest and she fell backwards, hitting her head “heavily” on the wooden floor, the documents allege.

The police officers and paramedics rushed forward and provided first aid, but she died a week later.

A civil case is proceeding before the courts separately from the criminal matter.

Original Article published by Albert McKnight on Riotact.

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