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95-year-old grandmother fatally tasered after cop yelled rude phrase, docs reveal

A new report on the death of a 95-year-old woman in Australia after police used a stun gun on her has found that the officers administered “a grossly disproportionate response and excessive use of force.” 

Clare Nowland died after police shocked her during an encounter at the Yallambee Lodge care facility, where New South Wales officers found her wandering around with her walker while holding two steak knives.

Nowland fell as she convulsed and hit her head, putting her in critical condition before she died. 

The preliminary police report, reviewed and released by the New South Wales supreme court on Wednesday, found that the circumstances did not meet the threshold for the officer to discharge a stun gun. Additionally, the officer who fired the stun gun allegedly said, “Stop just … na, bugger it,” before using the weapon, ABC News Australia reported.

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Australia police taser

Clare Nowland, shown at her 80th birthday celebration, died after a police officer used a stun gun on her at her care facility. Nowland, 95, at the time of her death, suffered from dementia. (Core News via Reuters / File)

The officer, a 33-year-old senior constable who the Daily Telegraph Australia first identified as Kristian White, was suspended from duty while the investigation continued and faced trial in early July.

The report now reveals that when the police first engaged Nowland, who suffered from dementia, they entered the room with nursing home staff in attendance. The care workers tried to convince Nowland to hand over the knives, but she threw one at them and then advanced toward the officers with the other.

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New South Wales

New South Wales Police Assistant Commissioner Peter Cotter discusses Clare Nowland’s condition at a press conference. (Core News via Reuters / File)

“Clare, stop now, see this, this is a taser, drop it now, drop it, this is your first warning,” police say White had warned. The police issued another warning, telling Nowland she would be shocked if she did not stop.

Shortly after, the officer seemed to think differently, saying, “… na, bugger it,” and fired the stun gun.

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Yallambe Lodge

The Yallambee Lodge (Lukas Coch / AAP Image via AP / File)

Nowland suffered a fractured skull and a serious brain bleed as a result, putting her in critical condition for a week. She was 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighed 95 pounds.

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Nowland’s family lawyer, Sam Tierney, said the facts as laid out by the report “are extremely confronting and shocking,” Sky News Australia reported.

“Clare’s family ask that they are please given privacy and space while they consider this latest information,” he added.


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