Clare Nowland, 95, died surrounded by her family at Cooma Hospital shortly after 7 pm Wednesday, less than an hour after police confirmed charges had been filed against the officer who allegedly attacked her.
NSW Police confirmed his death in a brief statement expressing “great sadness” at the loss of the Nowland family.
“Our thoughts and condolences remain with those fortunate enough to know, love and be loved by Mrs. Nowland during a life marked by family, kindness and community,” police said.
NSW Police Minister Yasmin Catley offered her condolences on behalf of the government to Nowland’s family and friends, as well as the wider Cooma community.
Lead Constable Kristian White, 33, faces three counts including recklessly causing serious bodily injury, assault causing actual bodily injury and common assault.
He is due to appear in Cooma Local Court on July 5, NSW Police said in a statement.
“The officer remains suspended from duty with pay,” NSW Police said.
“Investigations into the critical incident continue.”
Speaking before Nowland died, NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said it was possible the charges could be improved in the future.
“The Nowland family has been informed of this development and our thoughts and prayers are with Ms. Nowland tonight,” Webb said.
White has about 12 years of experience as a police officer.
Police said last week that the elderly resident, who was using a walker, was holding a serrated steak knife and “moving at a slow pace” when she was tasered.
Webb said it had been traumatic for everyone on the police force.
She said she had “heard” what was on the “confrontation” body camera footage, but did not confirm if she had seen it. She said Saturday that she did not intend to see the video.
“I worry about what that will reveal and confirm in court like any other legal matter.
“In NSW you are innocent until proven guilty and are awarded the same as any other resident.
“This is one incident among many service calls, over two million service calls each year that we respond to for all sorts of things.
“So I’m sure the community can rest assured that NSW Police will continue the work that we always do.”
Nowland had been receiving end-of-life care at the hospital after the Tasering, which caused him to fall and severely injure his head.
A critical incident investigation was launched and led by the State Crime Command Homicide Squad after the incident.
She was treated by staff and paramedics at the nursing home before being rushed to Cooma Base Hospital, where she remains.
Police had faced criticism for their handling of the incident, and Webb defended the force’s actions in the wake of the news.
Nowland had eight children, 24 grandchildren and 31 great-grandchildren, with four more expected this year.
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