An Omagh man who fled the United States after he allegedly subjected his flatmate’s cat to a sick torture campaign has fled back home.
Former Barclays banker Declan Garrity was arrested in March when the woman with whom he shared a New York apartment discovered horrific injuries to her pet moggy, Lucy.
The 24-year-old fugitive said he had no comment to make when Sunday Life tracked him down to his parents’ home outside Omagh on Friday.
Brazen Garrity wouldn’t say if he intended to return to the US to face court on animal cruelty charges while holding a pet dog in his arms.
He has been accused of breaking bones in the pelvis, face and legs of Lucy the cat, as well as ripping out her claws and burning the feline 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, which carries a sentence of up to four years in jail.
He was released on police bail of $6,000 (£4,620) but flew back to the UK with a Manhattan judge issuing a warrant for his arrest.
Garrity was fired from his role as an analyst in the bank’s wealth management unit shortly after the news of his arrest made headlines on both sides of the Atlantic in March this year.
An online petition on Change.org titled ‘Justice for Lucy: tortured cat’ has now attracted more than 2,000 signatures from people around the world since it was set up around two months ago.
Documents filed to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office stated: “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.”
It’s further alleged that Garrity had told his flat mate, 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 and had to be fed through a tube due to damage to injuries to her mouth.
An online funding page raised over $13,000, around £10,000, to pay for the cost of Lucy’s medical care.
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.
However, a prosecutor said that he was not necessarily required to leave the country given that there is a criminal case pending against him.
The Queen’s University economics graduate had been working with the bank since October 2014 and began living at the Upper East Side apartment since November last year.
A letter believed to have been sent by Barclays to Garrity said that he was required to leave the US following his dismissal and that they were funding his one-way ticket to Belfast, costing around $662.