It started as a domestic quarrel over personal hygiene, and ended in a bloody slashing.
Tan Boon Chen, 48, had got into a quarrel with his flatmate, who complained about his habits when they were both at home early one morning.
The dispute turned physical, with pushing and shoving. Tan then took a knife and attacked his victim, who was left with a 3cm cut on his arm.
It is understood that both men were on a waiting list to rent their own flats and were sharing a unit in the meantime.
Yesterday, Tan, who is jobless, was sentenced to two months in jail for voluntarily hurting car washer Chong Wei Lam, 55, on Aug 29. The court heard that the two men were co-renting the flat in Block 55, Sims Drive.
Around 6am that day, Tan took the knife, which had a 12cm blade, from under his mattress.
He swung the weapon at Mr Chong, who raised his hands in front of himself to block it. Mr Chong realised he was injured when he felt a sharp pain and saw blood dripping from his wrist.
He was treated in hospital after he telephoned his supervisor, who called for an ambulance on his behalf.
Seeking a three-month jail term, Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Lai acknowledged a report from the Institute of Mental Health which said Tan had a history of schizophrenia.
But Mr Lai pointed out that Tan had not been suffering from a relapse at the time.
Tan asked the court for leniency, saying he had not started the fight.
He was expected to be released from prison, having been in remand since Aug 30.
The maximum penalty for voluntarily causing hurt is a jail term of two years and a fine of $5,000.
This article was first published on Nov 22, 2014.
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