Tasered 95-year-old dementia patient now in ‘end of life’ care

Questions arise regarding NSW Police protocols as a 95-year-old dementia patient is critically injured following a taser incident.

Tasered 95-year-old dementia patient now in ‘end of life’ care
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In a tragic incident in New South Wales, an elderly dementia sufferer is now under end-of-life care after an unfortunate encounter with the police involving a taser. This occurred at the Yallambee Lodge, a nursing home located near Cooma.

A longtime friend of the family, Andrew Thaler, relayed to Sky News that the victim, Clare Nowland, 95, has been clinging to life at Cooma District Hospital for the past five days.

Describing the incident as "an utterly harsh act" considering her age and frail physical stature, Thaler revealed that Nowland suffered a fractured skull and a significant brain haemorrhage as a result of being tasered.

He shared his concerns on Monday saying, “Support has been overwhelming, my social media channels are flooded with messages, it's significant to see this level of care from around the globe, even a Brazilian newspaper has reported on the incident.”

Nowland, formerly an enthusiastic golfer and active participant in local church activities, was visited in the hospital on Sunday by Father Mark Croker who provided an update on her condition to the Daily Telegraph.

He noted her peaceful appearance, despite being unconscious, and shared the continuous visits of her large family, comprising eight children, 24 grandchildren, and 31 great-grandchildren, who were present in the hospital, providing comfort and speaking to her.

Father Croker said, “They say your hearing is the last sense to fade, so we are certain she can hear us.” 

When questioned by Ben Fordham from 2GB regarding the omission of the taser usage in the initial police report, NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb assured that nothing was being concealed and stressed the importance of informing the family accurately before releasing a public statement.

The tragic turn of events occurred after police were called to the care facility in the early hours of a Wednesday morning, following reports of Nowland brandishing a steak knife.

Despite attempts to negotiate with Nowland, a senior constable discharged his taser when she allegedly approached the officers, resulting in her falling and sustaining a life-threatening head injury.

Commissioner Webb said the officer who discharged his taser was currently not undertaking office duties and that he was receiving support from his command.

However, she faced criticism for not viewing the audio footage from the officer's body camera. Thaler criticised Webb's decision, raising concerns about how an effective investigation could be conducted without viewing the incident.

With a wave of empathy pouring into the town for the victim, there is an urgent call from the community for reassurance that the right course of action is being followed.

This incident has sparked a critical internal police investigation.

 

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  • By Avi Yemini

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