- By Antoinette Radford
- BBC News
A 95-year-old woman who was tasered by police at an Australian nursing home, causing public outcry, has died.
Clare Nowland was seriously injured after police responded to reports she was walking around the house with a steak knife around 4am last Wednesday.
New South Wales (NSW) Police said she died “surrounded by her family and loved ones”.
The officer who tasered Ms Nowland has been charged with assault.
The 33-year-old chief constable will be arraigned in early July for recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault causing actual bodily harm and common assault.
He remains suspended from duty with pay while investigations continue.
Ms Nowland lived in a care home in the town of Cooma, about 114km (71 miles) south of Canberra, the Australian capital.
NSW Police said their thoughts and condolences ‘remain with those who were blessed to know, love and be loved by Ms Nowland during a life she led under the sign of family, kindness and community”.
Last week, police said she was “armed” with a steak knife. On Friday, they confirmed she needed a walker to get around and the officer discharged her Taser after she started approaching “at a slow pace”.
Ms Nowland is believed to have suffered a fractured skull and severe brain haemorrhage after falling and hitting her head during the incident.
It prompted calls for a state parliamentary inquiry and the release of police body camera footage of the confrontation.
In a statement, Ms Nowland’s family said she was ‘a highly respected, much loved and generous member of her local community’ and the ‘loving and gentle matriarch of the Nowland family’.
They asked for privacy after his death.