The family of Clare Nowland will enter private negotiations with the New South Wales State Government over a civil case alleging the State was liable for the actions of the NSW police when they tasered the 95-year-old.
Legal processes began in Ms Nowland’s name five days before she died in hospital but since her death, her family has pursued the case with Ms Nowland listed as the plaintiff.
The case was first heard in a Bega court in July and is still in its preliminary stages, but parties will now enter into mediation.
Police were called to Cooma’s Yallambee Lodge aged care facility where Ms Nowland – who was experiencing symptoms of dementia – was brandishing a knife at staff and fellow residents. Senior Constable Kristian White attended the scene and allegedly said “nah, bugger it” before deploying his Taser. Ms Nowland fell to the floor and hit her head on the way down before being taken a local hospital where she died a week later.
A police expert in operational safety and training reviewed the CCTV and body-worn camera footage of the incident and said, in his opinion, the discharge of the Taser did not meet the threshold for the weapon’s use.
Earlier this month, Senior Constable White, who has been suspended from his policing role with pay, was forced to face court on the orders of the Supreme Court Judge. He faces charges including recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault causing actual bodily harm, and common assault. The court was adjourned until October 4.
So far, no one has agreed to comment on the case and media requests for court documents have been rejected.