Cop who tasered gran pleads not guilty to manslaughter

A police officer accused of killing a 95-year-old woman when he tasered her at an aged-care home will face trial before the end of the year.

Kristian White, 33, pleaded not guilty to manslaughter during his arraignment in the NSW Supreme Court in Sydney on Friday.

The senior constable is alleged to have used a Taser on great-grandmother Clare Nowland at an aged-care home in the southern NSW town of Cooma in the early hours of May 17.

Mrs Nowland, who weighed 43kg and lived with dementia, hit her head on the ground when she fell after being hit with the weapon.

White's solicitor, Peter Gow, called for the trial to be postponed until 2025, but Justice Helen Wilson knocked back the request.

She said the court could not "leave the matter swinging until February or March" when the trial could be accommodated in November.

"I'm afraid the court doesn't conduct its diary to suit senior counsel," she said.

Mr Gow said the earlier trial date would mean the case would need to be re-briefed to another barrister.

White will remain on bail as he awaits the start of his four-week trial, which has been listed to begin in the Supreme Court on November 11.

Clare Nowland
Clare Nowland, 95, died in hospital after being tasered by police while holding a steak knife.

Mrs Nowland was confronted by police at the nursing home while using a walking frame and holding a steak knife, investigators have said.

She was repeatedly asked by staff, paramedics and police to drop the knife before she was tasered, according to a police statement of facts previously tendered in the case.

Ms Nowland was taken to Cooma Hospital, where she died on May 24.

White was initially charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault.

In late November, the additional charge of manslaughter was laid after investigators received advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison, compared to 10 years for recklessly causing grievous bodily harm.

All other charges have been withdrawn.

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