Cat torture accused wanted in US refuses to say if he'll go back
A former financial analyst who fled the United States after allegedly torturing his flatmate's cat has refused to say if he will return to face the courts.
Declan Garrity was tracked down to his parents' home outside Omagh.
He has been on the run from authorities in the US, opting to slip back to Northern Ireland, but was traced by a Sunday Life reporter.
The 24-year-old refused to speak when approached by the journalist. Holding a pet dog in his arms, he wouldn't say if he intended to return to the US to face animal cruelty charges.
Garrity was arrested in March when the woman with whom he shared a New York apartment discovered horrific injuries to her pet cat, Lucy.
He has been accused of breaking bones in the cat's pelvis, face and legs, as well as ripping out her claws and burning her over a three-month period.
Garrity, who moved to New York to work for Barclays, was charged with two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals.
It carries a sentence of up to four years in jail. But after being released on police bail of $6,000 (£4,620), he flew back to the UK.
A Manhattan judge later issued a warrant for his arrest.
After the news of his arrest made headlines on both sides of the Atlantic in March this year, Garrity was fired from his role as an analyst in the bank's wealth management unit.
An online petition on Change.org titled 'Justice for Lucy: tortured cat', set up around two months ago, has now attracted more than 2,000 signatures.
Garrity is alleged to have told his flatmate, who works as a nurse, that an iron had fallen on Lucy in January this year.
Lucy was treated in intensive veterinary care at a cost of thousands of dollars. She had to be fed through a tube due to injuries to her mouth.
Garrity, from Clanabogan near Omagh, was due to appear before a hearing of Manhattan Supreme Court in April.
His lawyer said Garrity had left the country after consulting with an immigration lawyer, who told him he would be in the US illegally as his work visa was invalid.