An unemployed man stabbed his neighbour after the latter splashed hot oil and water on him, a court heard.
Yesterday, Bounty Gill, 59, was sentenced to three years' jail after he was convicted of grievously hurting Mr Kho Ah Yeow, now 60.
Gill stabbed Mr Kho in his abdomen a few times with a knife after Mr Kho threw the hot contents of a mug at him during an argument.
The attack took place in the common corridor of Block 3, Jalan Bukit Merah, on June 25 last year.
Mr Kho underwent various surgical procedures. Gill was warded for two days.
The only disputed fact in the case was whether there was grave and sudden provocation by Mr Kho such that Gill could not control himself when he stabbed Mr Kho.
District Judge Lim Keng Yeow found that grave and sudden provocation was not established by the defence. He said Gill's evidence was that he felt angry and provoked by Mr Kho's actions. That when he returned home, his mind went blank and he could not recall having stabbed the victim and was unable to give any evidence of his actions or intentions.
The judge said he did not accept that Gill's mind went blank.
"His act of lying about his mind having completely gone blank could only be because he had to hide his motivations and intentions behind the stabbing, making defence suggestions that he had acted on grave and sudden provocation much less probable," he said.
Judge Lim said he took into account that a knife was used, that there were a few stabs and that the injuries caused were very serious. But he said he was also prepared to give weight to the fact that the victim - Mr Kho - was the instigator and that there was considerable provocation before the stabbing.
Defence lawyer Favian Kang said Gill had been suffering from schizophrenia and a host of other mental illnesses for many years.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Yang Ziliang had argued for a sentence of 31/2 to four years' jail after accepting that there was provocation to a certain degree.
Gill, whose sentence was backdated to June 26 last year, could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined.
Mr Kho was earlier sentenced to three months' jail for hurting Gill by means of heated substance.