Officer Awaits Post-Mortem Report in Controversial Elderly Taser Death Case


Awaiting a critical post mortem report, police anticipate answers regarding the controversial death of a 95-year-old matriarch, who expired a few days subsequent to a police officer’s alleged use of a Taser on her.

Constable Kristian James White, the officer implicated, was formerly allowed to attend court via an audiovisual system, however, current stipulations enforced by the NSW Supreme Court command his in-person presence. On Wednesday, at the Cooma Local Court, the 33-year-old constable sported a blue suit and white shirt, concealed behind sizable iridescent sunglasses in an evident bid to evade journalists.

As he stood stone-faced beside his partner outside the courthouse, he firmly spurned any media queries as he held on for admittance to the court. Controversial allegations see Mr. White facing charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault, and recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, stemming from his reported “excessive use of force” against Mrs Nowland in a NSW southern aged care facility.

Most of the incriminating evidence against Constable White has been gathered and his attorneys have been duly notified, save for the highly consequential report. Prosecutors are standing by to receive the post mortem report, anticipated to shed light on Mrs Nowland’s condition at her demise and her cause of death.

To accommodate the completion of the crucial report by the coroner’s office, Magistrate Roger Clisdell adjourned the proceedings for four weeks, subtly reminding attendees about the automatic continuity of the accused’s bail. A court date has been set for October 4.

Mr. White was obligingly respectful, extending multiple deep bows of gratitude towards the magistrate upon exiting the courtroom. He adhered to his resolute silence as he proceeded from the courthouse towards the adjacent police station where his car was parked.

The allegations tell a troubling tale of Constable White being summoned to Yallambee Lodge nursing home in the early morning of May 17, as an agitated Mrs Nowland had been discovered wandering into other residents’ rooms, brandishing kitchen knives. She also allegedly threw a knife at a staff member.

Officers were called in after the carers’ futile attempts to control the situation. Mrs Nowland was located in an office, a knife and torch in her possession. Despite warnings from Constable White, she reportedly threatened an unnamed female officer with the knife, resulting in the activation of the Taser by Constable White.

What followed has been widely criticised as an extreme reaction to the situation, where he discharged his Taser into the petite 95-year-old woman’s chest. The impact forced her to fall backwards, her head striking the wooden floor. An expert consulted by the police concluded that the incident failed to constitute the exceptional circumstances warranting a Taser deployment against an elderly or disabled person.

Mrs Nowland developed an irremediable brain bleed and succumbed to her injuries days later at Cooma Hospital, leaving a large family mourning her loss. Reacting to the distressing allegations against Mr. White, Mrs Nowland’s family has expressed their shock and dismay.

With a clearer understanding of Mrs Nowland’s last moments hanging in the balance, NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb has indicated possible amplification of the officer’s charges. In the meanwhile, Mr. White continues to be on a fully paid suspension from duty.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.


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