It began as a lovers' tiff but soon became a full-fledged fight with the man turning a knife on his girlfriend.
The quarrel began when K. Regu Arekrishnan, 57, insulted Ms Roselyn Kan Ah Hiok, 54, for being jobless and unable to buy her own property.
This happened when they were in a taxi on their way to his flat in Toa Payoh on the morning of April 4, after visiting his sister.
Their war of words continued when they reached his flat and escalated into a fight after she flung a bottle of perfume at him.
It missed Regu, who then took a butter knife with a 7cm-long blade from the dining table.
He aimed the knife at his girlfriend's face and eye area, but cut her scalp instead when she managed to dodge the weapon.
Ms Kan grabbed the blade with her right hand and it left a deep wound when Regu wrenched the knife away. Bleeding from her injuries, she ran out of the flat and fled downstairs.
The taxi that the couple had earlier taken was still there. She boarded it and asked the driver to alert the police. She also asked the cabby to take her back to Regu's sister's flat in Ang Mo Kio.
Police officers who turned up at Regu's home found it in total darkness. They later arrested him after they found him at a coffee shop at Block 69, Lorong 4 Toa Payoh at around 12.45pm that day.
Regu was yesterday jailed for four months after pleading guilty to hurting Ms Kan with the knife.
Ms Kan had to undergo emergency surgery at Tan Tock Seng Hospital on April 4 to close the wound on her right hand. She was discharged the next day and was given medical leave until April 19.
Court papers did not mention if the couple are still together.
For causing hurt with the knife, Regu could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined. He cannot be caned as he is more than 50 years old.