He was jobless and stayed in a Pasir Ris flat with his sister and her family.
Returning home drunk one night, Lim Chin Poh, 53, used a chopper and slashed his brother-in-law multiple times in an unprovoked attack on Sept 22, last year.
The victim, cabby Lee Kiat Seng, 50, suffered permanent disfigurement.
Lim was jailed for 3½ years yesterday after pleading guilty to one count of voluntarily causing grievous hurt.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Dwayne Lum said before the attack, Lim had gone drinking with a friend at Changi Village and came home drunk at around 10pm.
About 15 minutes later, his sister, hairdresser Lim Lian Choo, 48, heard him shouting in his bedroom and decided to check on him.
He told her he was drunk and did not want to be disturbed.
The court heard he was so incensed by Madam Lim's questions he immediately went to the kitchen, retrieved a chopper that had a 20cm-long blade, and stormed into her bedroom.
Mr Lee was lying on the bed when Lim suddenly attacked him.
The couple struggled with Lim before finally subduing him.
A neighbour, Mr Mohammed Noh Jaffri, 34, heard the commotion and called the police telling them "there is blood everywhere".
When officers arrived, Mr Lee was rushed to Changi General Hospital with wounds on his face, neck and right arm.
A medical report dated Feb 5 said the scars on his face and arm will be permanent.
Mr Lee was warded from Sept 23 to 30 last year and given 24 days' medical leave.
Lim's lawyer, Mr Michael Chang, urged District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan to give his client the lowest custodial sentence.
Pleading for leniency, he added Lim was remorseful and was a chronic heart patient.
DPP Lum, however, asked the judge to sentence him to 3½ years' jail and stressed the attack was unprovoked.
He added that Lim was angry with his sister and not her husband, who was just getting ready for bed when he was attacked.
He said between 1986 and 2011, Lee had been convicted for robbery, armed robbery and snatch theft.
DPP Lum also told the court Mr Lee would have to live with permanent scarring to his face when facing passengers for the rest of his life.
Before sentencing, Judge Shaiffudin said the attack was brutal and vicious, and also noted Mr Lee had suffered serious injuries.
For voluntarily causing grievous hurt, Lim could have been jailed up to 15 years and fined.
He cannot be caned as he is above 50 years old.
This article was first published on March 12, 2016.
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