Clare Nowland’s daughter given permission to watch bodycam footage of Tasering
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A judge has given the daughter of Clare Nowland permission to watch the footage of her mother being Tasered by police, but lawyers for the state have asked for the decision to be stayed pending a possible appeal.
Lesley Lloyd applied in the NSW District Court this month to watch police bodycam vision of the May 17 altercation with her mother at Yallambee Lodge aged care home in Cooma. The request was made during the civil case her family is bringing against the state.
Clare Nowland died in hospital on May 24.
Nowland, a 95-year-old great-grandmother with dementia, died in hospital a week after she was Tasered, which had caused her to fall and hit her head. She was holding a knife and was moving slowly towards officers using a walking frame, police said.
Lloyd requested to watch the footage to support her brother Michael Nowland, who is bringing the case for assault, battery and negligence.
On Thursday, barrister Raphael Perla, appearing for the state of NSW, said this should not be allowed for many reasons, including that Lloyd may be called as a witness in the criminal case and watching the video could contaminate her evidence.
Senior Constable Kristian White was charged in May with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm and two counts of assault over the Tasering. His case will return to court in December.
Refusing to answer reporters’ questions, suspended police officer Kristian White and his partner stand outside Cooma Court in September.Credit: James Brickwood
The family’s barrister, Peter Tierney, said his client found it difficult to understand why there was “such a strident opposition” to her request to watch the video.
Tierney said his client would not be given a copy and made an undertaking to the court that she would not show the footage to anyone else or use it for any other purpose.
“She finds it very difficult and confronting to be told by the state of NSW and NSW Police force, in the circumstances where it’s common ground a police Taser was used and her mother is dead, that she’s not able to view the footage,” Tierney said.
“She’s concerned about the welfare of her brother and the heavy burden that he shoulders alone at this time.”
Judge Matthew Dicker said many factors needed to be balanced, including Lloyd’s understandable desire to see the footage and White’s right to a fair trial.
He said Lloyd could watch the footage from December 4, to allow police time to take any statements for the criminal proceedings. She would not be given a copy and would watch the footage through her lawyers.
In a statement on Thursday afternoon, Lloyd said she would like to thank the court for its consideration of her application.
Perla successfully applied for the decision to be stayed for 28 days while the state contemplates lodging an appeal. The state was ordered to pay Lloyd’s costs.
The civil case will return to court in February, with the parties expected to attend a mediation in December.
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