He was caught on video pointing a 1m-long branch at his landlady in a threatening manner.
Claiming that she had been harassing his family, full-time national serviceman Pierre Chng Yuheng told the court yesterday that his behaviour towards Madam Khoo Kim Cheng was a "reflex action" to what she had done.
On the second day of his trial, the 19-year-old, who used to live with his family in a rental unit within a house at Paya Lebar Crescent, said that he wanted the harassment to end.
Chng, who faces two counts of criminal intimidation, is said to have verbally threatened to ruin Madam Khoo and her family members on May 2 last year.
Twenty days later, he allegedly threatened the mother of four by pointing the tree branch at her.
Chng, who took the stand yesterday, said: "It was a result of bottled-up pressure after all I had been through. I had no intention to strike (Madam Khoo)."
His sister, Carmen Chng Jiawen, 18, was also hauled to court for alleged offences including mischief and voluntarily causing hurt to a public servant.
She will be dealt with separately.
Madam Khoo testified on Aug 6 that she had rented out her property to Chng's mother, Ms Chng Leng Khim, and her three children from Feb 1 last year to Jan 31 this year.
She also told the court that the Chngs failed to pay their rent of $1,500 a month after March.
Yesterday, Chng, who is not represented by a lawyer, told District Judge Lim Keng Yeow that the water supply to the unit was cut on May 1 last year.
He claimed that the electricity supply was also partially cut, "denying" his family of air-conditioning.
"My patience ran dry on May 2 (last year)," he said. He also accused Madam Khoo of going to his home almost every day to insult them.
Chng told the court that on May 22 last year, she instructed technician Gwee Tian Seng to go to the house and take measurements for a metal box to lock in the water meter.
So he called the police and told Mr Gwee not the leave the premises. He claimed that the technician snapped and used expletives on his mother.
Chng said he told Mr Gwee to stop cursing, but the older man turned aggressive. This prompted him to pick up the tree branch to protect his 12-year-old brother and himself.
"Mr Gwee said 'pa, lah' (Hokkien for beat, lah) and that's when I snapped," said Chng.