The celebration of his daughter's first-month birthday was ruined when he punched a neighbour at the void deck.
The pair had been at odds for years over complaints about noise and had even gone for mediation.
But the situation did not improve and things came to a head in December 2013 when printer technician Kamal Hasan Mohd Sani, 36, punched Mr Firdaus Supri, 34.
Kamal was yesterday fined $2,000.
The court heard that he had been living in a seventh-storey flat at a block in Tampines Street 41, with his mother, while Mr Firdaus lived on the sixth storey. Kamal moved to Choa Chu Kang after he got married in October 2012 but booked the void deck of his mother's Tampines home for his daughter's first-month celebration on Dec 29, 2013.
At about 5.35pm, Kamal and his mother were waiting for his aunt at the void deck when Mr Firdaus showed up. He appeared to be staring at Kamal and his mother.
Kamal confronted him and a squabble broke out between the two over the noise complaints. It escalated to a scuffle as Kamal punched Mr Firdaus in his head and on his upper body.
According to a medical report from Changi General Hospital, Mr Firdaus suffered a superficial abrasion on his right forearm, spasm on the right of his neck, tenderness and swelling on his left ear and tenderness in his left jaw.
In mitigation, Kamal's lawyer Maheswari Rani Krishna pointed out the history between her client and his neighbour dating back to 2011.
She said: "There had been a constant and deliberate harassment by Mr Firdaus since November 2011, whereby Mr Firdaus would unfairly accuse Kamal and his family of making noise, even when Kamal and his family had not been at home."
Ms Maheswari pointed out that at least six times, Mr Firdaus had confronted Kamal about noise coming from his flat, and had called the police and complained to the Housing Board.
When the police or HDB officers arrived, they would find no sign of the noise. Firdaus also complained of noise from dropping items, but the floor in Kamal's mother's home was carpeted.
None of the other neighbours made similar complaints.
The two men and their mothers attended a mediation session in June 2012, where Mr Firdaus agreed not to resort to the police, the HDB or the town council over noise issues, but would instead approach Kamal directly.
Kamal also agreed during the session to co-operate fully with Mr Firdaus to "bring harmony" to both families.
But Mr Firdaus made another complaint to HDB just two months later, in Aug 2012, before things finally got out of hand in December 2013.
For voluntarily causing hurt, Kamal could have been jailed up to two years or fined up to $5,000 or both.
This article was first published on May 9, 2015.
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