Belfast Telegraph

New York cops rearrest NI man accused of cat torture after he ignores ruling by judge

By Cate McCurry

A Northern Ireland banker accused of torturing his flatmate's pet cat has been rearrested in New York for violating a court order.

Declan Garrity, a 24-year-old from Co Tyrone who is on a work visa, was arrested last Wednesday and is accused of ripping out the cat Lucy's nails, breaking bones in her face, pelvis and legs and burning the animal, since moving into the apartment in November.

Garrity, a financial analyst from Omagh, had been working at Barclays' offices in New York since October 2014, according to his LinkedIn page. He was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and torturing and injuring animals and released on a $5,000 (£3,500) bond.

The criminal complaint filed by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office states that "shortly after [Garrity] moved into the apartment, the individual observed Lucy's behaviour change, including hiding in the individual's bedroom closet, not eating and constantly licking her paws."

The complaint also states that Garrity told his flatmate on January 25 that an iron had fallen on the cat while he was at work.

Last Saturday, the flatmate claimed that when she came home from work, she found Lucy "hiding in her carrier [with] her rear foot facing in the wrong direction," and that she was damp and missing hair. The roommate also saw paper towels on a bedroom vanity unit with "cat hair and blood".

A vet said the cat had a dislocated and fractured bone in her leg, several broken ribs, broken teeth, burns on various areas of her body, as well as broken claws.

After his court appearance last week, Garrity was prohibited from going to his New York apartment where the alleged animal abuse took place.

However, a judge permitted him to visit the apartment from 1-3pm to collect his belongings as long as he was accompanied by a police escort, but when Garrity arrived at the apartment on Tuesday afternoon he was alone.

A newspaper in New York reported that he greeted removal workers who were waiting on the street and rang the apartment's buzzer.

A voice on the intercom asked: "Do you have police with you?"

Garrity replied: "No, the movers are here."

The father of Danielle, Garrity's former flatmate and owner of the cat he's accused of abusing, was waiting in the apartment.

The father called his daughter to tell her Garrity had arrived without a police escort and Danielle called the police to report the violation of the court order.

He was arrested and led out of the building in handcuffs. He was charged with criminal contempt in the first degree.

Meanwhile, members of the public have set up an online petition demanding that should he be convicted, the Omagh man receive the maximum sentence for his crimes and be banned from owning a cat. It reads: "This level of animal torture is sick and alarming. This person, if guilty, should be brought to justice.

"We urge you to seek the maximum penalty in this case and see to it that this man is banned from ever owning animals if he is found guilty of this horrific crime."

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