Wednesday, July 24, 2024

95-year-old woman dies after being assaulted by police in Australia

  • By Antoinette Radford
  • BBC News

A 95-year-old woman has died after being assaulted by police at an Australian care home.

Clare Nowland was fatally injured last Wednesday at around 04:00 after police responded to a man wandering around the house with a butcher knife.

New South Wales Police (NSW) said he was “surrounded by family and loved ones”.

The officer accused of assaulting Mrs. Nowland.

The 33-year-old senior constable will face court in early July charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault.

He has been suspended with pay pending investigations.

Ms Nowland lived in a care home in Cooma, 114 km (71 miles) south of Australia’s capital, Canberra.

NSW Police said their thoughts and condolences “are with those who were fortunate enough to know, love and be loved by Ms Nowland during her life characterized by family, compassion and community”.

Last week, police said he was “armed” with a steak knife. On Friday, they confirmed she needed a walking frame to move, and the officer fired his Taser after she began approaching at a “slow pace.”

Mrs Nowland is believed to have suffered a fractured skull, a fall on her head and a blow to her head, causing bleeding on the brain.

It has prompted calls for a state parliamentary inquiry and the release of police bodycam footage of the confrontation.

In a statement, Mrs Nowland’s family said she was a “well-respected, much-loved member of her local community” and a “loving and gentle-natured mother of the Nowland family”.

They have asked for privacy following his death.

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