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NSW Police officer Kristian White at Cooma Court. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Paul McIver

Three charges dropped for NSW cop accused of taser death

A senior constable charged with fatally tasering 95-year-old Clare Nowland in a rural nursing home will fight the allegations in a trial. 

Kristian White, 33, was called to Yallambee Lodge nursing home in Cooma, NSW, on May 17 last year after the great-grandmother was found holding a knife.

He allegedly asked her to drop the knife before saying “bugger it” and discharging his taser at the resident, who was using a walking frame. 

She sustained a brain injury when she fell backwards and died in hospital days later.

Constable White was charged with manslaughter over the elderly woman’s death, but last Wednesday, he indicated he would plead not guilty to the charge. 

The Cooma resident had also been charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault over the alleged “excessive use of force”.

However, crown prosecutors withdrew these three charges in Cooma Local Court. 

He will fight the remaining charge in a NSW Supreme Court trial.

The senior constable ­remains suspended from duty with pay.

He was called out of bed before 5am to respond to reports Ms Nowland had been holding a knife and entering the rooms of other residents at Yallambee Nursing Home.

As staff tried to coax her out of one of the rooms, she allegedly threw a knife at one employee. It landed on the ground. 

When Constable White and a female colleague arrived, they found Ms Nowland sitting in an office with a kitchen knife and a torch in her hand. 

Ms Nowland allegedly slightly lifted her hand off her walker and pointed the knife at the female officer as she moved forward. 

Police allege Constable White allegedly activated his taser and pointed it at the chest of the 43kg woman, telling her to drop the weapon. 

As the 95-year-old continued to “slowly” approach, Constable White allegedly lit up the device and told her she would get tasered.

Police allege Ms Nowland was holding the knife when the 33-year-old said, “stop, just … nah bugger it” and discharged the stun gun into her chest.

The great-grandmother fell backwards and struck her head “heavily” on the nursing home floor.

She sustained an inoperable brain injury and died days later in the Cooma Hospital. 

In a statement, Ms Nowland’s eight children, 24 grandchildren, and 30 great-grandchildren said Constable White’s alleged actions were “extremely confronting and shocking”. 

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