Jobless man slashes flatmate who criticised his personal hygiene

SINGAPORE - A jobless man caused a stink when his flatmate complained about his personal hygiene - and slashed him with a knife.

Tan Boon Chen, 48, was jailed for two months on Friday for voluntarily hurting car washer Chong Wei Lam, 55, in the row on Aug 29.

The quarrel erupted after Mr Chong complained about his habits early that morning. The dispute led to pushing and shoving before Tan grabbed a 12cm blade from under his mattress.

He swung it at his flatmate, who raised his hands to block it, but he ended up with a 3cm laceration on his arm which needed hospital treatment.

Calling for a three-month jail term, Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Lai said Tan had a history of schizophrenia although he had not been suffering a relapse at the time.

Tan asked the court for leniency, saying he had not started the fight. He is expected to be released from prison soon, having been remanded since Aug 30.

The maximum penalty for voluntarily causing hurt is a jail term of two years and a fine of $5,000.