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Man who allegedly attacked mom admitted to state hospital

Union Leader Correspondent

May 22. 2014 8:19PM

NASHUA — Several felony charges against a schizophrenic man accused of brutally assaulting his mother in 2012 have been dismissed, and the man has now been involuntarily admitted to New Hampshire Hospital.

Thomas V. Foden, 40, of Nashua, had been indicted on three charges of second-degree assault and one count of burglary for the Nov. 25, 2012 attack that left his mother without an ear and caused her to lose vision in one of her eyes.

According to court documents, Judge Jacalyn Colburn of Hillsborough County Superior Court recently dismissed all of the charges after Foden, who has a history of mental illness, was repeatedly deemed incompetent to stand trial.

Public defenders Amanda Steenhuis and Ed Cross requested that the court dismiss all of the charges against Foden, and their request was granted earlier this month. Prosecutor Cassie Devine of the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office assented to the request.

Because of Foden’s incompetency, the probate court ordered that Foden be involuntarily admitted to New Hampshire Hospital for five years where he will seek treatment for schizophrenia.

“The indictments in this case came as a result of the defendant’s brutal assault on his own mother, who was in a position of authorizing treatment for him at the time,” a ruling by Colburn said. “The attack came without any real warning, as the defendant held a generally positive regard for her at the time.”

Police allege that Foden invaded the Merrimack home of Alicia J. Flanders and began assaulting her, pushing her into a glass cabinet, puncturing her left eye socket and biting off her left ear.

Dr. Daniel Comiskey, chief forensic examiner for the New Hampshire Department of Corrections, said Foden suffered from schizophrenia, even when medicated, according to court records.

During a previous court hearing, attorneys said Foden had just been released from Southern New Hampshire Medical Center about 24 to 36 hours prior to the assault on Flanders.

Previous treatment had not been adequate, according to Comiskey’s report, stating it did little to improve Foden’s mental health.

In addition, Foden has paranoid beliefs about mental health providers, and “still believes mental health treatment to be an act of social cleansing,” according to court documents.

Foden has a history of arrests. In 1994 he was convicted of possession of a controlled drug, and in 1997 he was convicted of simple assault and resisting arrest.

In an unrelated matter, Flanders, who is an area landlord, previously rented a Manchester apartment to Lynne Melk Brennan. Flanders found Brennan’s body at the 267 River Road apartment in October of 2010. Brennan’s death has been ruled homicide, and the Manchester case still remains unsolved.

Crime Merrimack Nashua

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