A grieving family has spoken out about the “unfathomable” horror of losing their grandmother after she was tasered by a police officer.
Clare Nowland’s granddaughter, Kylie Paske, described the matriarch as someone who had “love for everyone” – as she posted a recent photo of them together.
The 95-year-old demented man, who weighed just 43kg, died Wednesday night at Cooma Hospital in southern NSW from injuries sustained after being tasered at her nursing home.
“I’m sure researchers and whatever will get answers — because we all have questions,” Ms. Paske said. 7News.
“The circumstances of her death are unfathomable… I think we are all still shocked.
“You don’t think you’ll wake up if your grandmother is tasered.”
Clare Nowland’s granddaughter Kylie Paske (pictured, right with her grandmother Clare Nowland) described the 95-year-old matriarch as someone who had “love for everyone”
Ms Paske also said the mother of eight had a bigger heart than anyone else, never judged others and cared for people from all walks of life.
A recent photo of the pair was uploaded to Ms Paske’s social media on Thursday, showing Ms Nowland wearing a straw sun visor.
The post elicited condolences and comments over the beloved grandmother’s death.
The family thanked the staff at Cooma Hospital for the care and support they and their grandmother received.
The police officer accused of tasing the 95-year-old great-grandmother before she died reportedly said “no, you son of a bitch” before firing the weapon.
Police were called to Yallambee Lodge retirement home after staff reported Ms Nowland wielding a knife in the early hours of May 17.
She allegedly approached officers with her walker while waving the serrated steak knife in their direction.
Police will claim that the officer told her to “stop” and “drop it” several times before raising the knife to a colleague’s chest – and he allegedly tasered her.
Senior Constable Kristian White, 33, was charged with recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm, assault with actual bodily harm and common assault on Wednesday night. Mr. White is expected to contest the charges.
It is clear that a female officer who also responds to the call will not be charged, but may face disciplinary action.
Senior Constable White has been charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault involving actual bodily harm and common assault
Clare Nowland (pictured), a dementia sufferer who weighed just 43kg, died at Cooma Hospital in southern NSW around 7pm on Wednesday, a week after being tasered by the officer
“I can take it (the knife) from her,” the female officer said as the pair were in a standoff with Ms Nowland, Nine News reported.
It is believed that the police will argue in court that Constable White said at this point: “No, motherfucker” before tasing the great-grandmother, causing her to fall backwards and fracture her skull.
A senior counsel has told Daily Mail Australia that Mr White’s charges could be upgraded following Ms Nowland’s death on Wednesday.
“It would be more like manslaughter,” the senior counsel explained. “But it will be upgraded.
‘It could be murder. Murder requires intent to inflict grievous bodily harm.”
The lawyer said a murder charge could be brought if it can be proven that the officer showed “reckless disregard for human life.”
“It would require foresight on the likelihood of death as a result of the act,” the side said. ‘This is indeed an ideal suitcase for that.’
“This matter is now in court and there is little more I can say about it except that the Nowland family has been made aware of this development,” Commissioner Webb said after White was charged.
NSW Police Senior Constable Kristian White (pictured) has been suspended with pay
Ms Nowland (pictured) died at Cooma District Hospital, southern NSW, after being tasered by an officer earlier this month
Commissioner Webb added that her “thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Nowland and her family tonight.”
Mr White is due to appear in Cooma local court on Wednesday 5th July 2023. Among the charges brought against him, reckless infliction of grievous bodily harm carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Assault involving actual bodily harm carries a prison sentence of up to seven years, while a conviction for common assault can lead to up to two years behind bars.
He remains suspended with pay.
Meanwhile, in the Sydney suburb of Heathcote, 380 km north of Cooma, White’s firefighter father Keith made a lost figure at his childhood home.
Keith and his wife Heather live in Heathcote, Sutherland shire and are heavily involved in the national fire service.
The elder Mr. White has been treasurer of the brigade since 1990 and is the lead trainer and assessor in the Sutherland Rural Fire Service.
Kristian’s sister Mikaela works as a sports activities specialist at a private boys’ school in Sydney’s inner west.
The family bunkered down after the incident and refused to answer questions when contacted by Daily Mail Australia.
In Heathcote, a suburb of Sydney, 380 km north of Cooma, Mr. White’s firefighter Keith (pictured) a lost figure in his childhood home
The photo shows Kristian White’s childhood home in Cooma, a Sydney suburb
Following Ms Nowland’s death, NSW Police issued a statement saying: ‘It is with great sadness that tonight (Wednesday 24 May 2023) we confirm the death of 95-year-old Clare Nowland in Cooma.
“Ms. Nowland passed away peacefully in hospital just after 7pm tonight, surrounded by family and loved ones who have asked for privacy at this sad and difficult time.
“Our thoughts and condolences remain with those who were fortunate enough to know, love and be loved by Ms. Nowland during a life she led marked by family, kindness and community.”
NSW Police Minister Yasmin Catley also offered her condolences.
‘On behalf of the NSW Government, I would like to express my sincere condolences to the Nowland family for the loss of their much-loved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Clare Nowland.
“Our sympathies and thoughts also go out to the community of Cooma, Mrs. Nowland’s friends, as well as the residents and caretakers of Cooma Yallambee Lodge.
“We will continue to support the Nowland family as they mourn this loss and we urge people to respect their privacy at this time,” Ms Catley said.
Police Commissioner Karen Webb (pictured) said her ‘thoughts and prayers are with Ms Nowland and her family tonight’
The Yallambee Lodge in South NSW where the Taser incident took place is pictured
Commissioner Webb said: “His employment will continue to be reviewed but at this time he is still suspended from the workplace”.
She added that the charges against White could be upgraded. ‘It is possible. It depends on what happens,” she said.
Despite international outcry over the incident, the Commissioner has refused to view bodycam footage of Ms Nowland being tasered.
She also refused to release the footage to the public, saying she is “concerned” that people want to see it.
The police chief said she may need to watch the video “as a decision maker in this organization… (but) I don’t see any value in watching that footage now that I don’t know… post that incident.”
When asked again on Wednesday evening why she would not release the footage of Ms. Nowland’s tasering, she replied: “I am not the investigator.”
The investigation into the incident continues.
CLARE NOWLAND’S TIMELINE IS TASERED BY THE POLICE
Wednesday 17 May, 4.15 am: The police are called to the Yallambee Lodge nursing home
Clare Nowland stood in the kitchen with a serrated steak knife
A senior officer fired his taser into the great-grandmother’s chest and back
Ms Nowland fell backwards, hit her head on the floor and was taken to hospital with a fractured skull and brain haemorrhage
Wednesday 17 May, 4.41 pm: NSW Police are issuing a statement saying a critical investigation has been launched after an ‘elderly woman sustained injuries while interacting with police at a retirement home’
Thursday 18 May, 3.47 pm: First media report in Nine Newspapers that Ms Nowland had been tasered
Friday May 19, 9:57 am: The police make the first mention of a taser in an official statement.
Friday 19 May, 11.30 am: Assistant Commissioner Peter Cotter, the commander of the southern region, provides more details at a press conference at police headquarters
Saturday May 20: Police Commissioner Karen Webb said she does not intend to release the body-worn police view of the incident or see it for herself
Monday May 22: Commissioner Webb defends original police statement calling the case an ‘interaction’ and omitting that Ms Nowland had been tasered
Tuesday May 23: Senior Constable Kristian White is suspended with pay. Police minister reveals aged carer has received death threats
Wednesday 24 May, 6.18 pm: Police announce Senior Constable White has been charged with recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm, assault with actual bodily harm and common assault
Wednesday 24 May, 9:37 PM: Police reveal that Ms Nowland died in hospital around 7pm surrounded by family and loved ones