Declan Garrity allegedly went back to the United Kingdom because he feared federal immigration charges if he remained in the U.S.
Garrity, 24, was supposed to show up in New York City court on Tuesday to be arraigned on charges he repeatedly cruelly abused the 8-pound feline named Lucy, who belonged to his roommate on Manhattan's Upper East Side.
The Northern Ireland native Garrity also was due to be arraigned the same day on a charge of having that he violated a protective order issued after the February cat torture arrest by returning to the apartment to retrieve his belonging without a police escort.
But Garrity failed to appear in court as required, according to authorities. A judge then issued a bench warrant and revoked his $6,000 bail.
Garrity's lawyer reportedly told the judge that Garrity had left the United States and returned home after consulting with an immigration lawyer who told him he risked arrest for immigration violations if he remained in the U.S.
Garrity had been employed by Barclays since October 2014 under a work visa, and had been responsible for ensuring that all new and existing client relationships had appropriately undergone "Know Your Customer" screening, which is done to verify the identity of clients.
According to the New York Daily News, Barclays fired Garrity on March 4, on the heels of his arrest for allegedly torturing Lucy the cat, and told him he had one month to leave the country given that he no longer had the job that was the subject of his work visa.
A human resources letter cited by the News said, "It is your obligation to comply with the immigration regulations by either departing the U.S. or applying to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for a change in status to another nonimmigrant visa category as soon as possible."
The newspaper reported that Barclays paid for Garrity's plane trip back to Belfast, under a settlement agreement related to his termination.
But a prosecutor on Tuesday reportedly said in court that U.S. Homeland Security officials had told the Manhattan District Attorney's Office that Garrity would not have been required to leave, even though his work visa was no longer valid, because he faces pending criminal charges.
"This is absolutely a willful and voluntary absence," the prosecutor said, according to the News.
Garrity's lawyer did not immediately reply to a request for comment from CNBC.
A spokesman for Barclays likewise did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A Manhattan DA spokeswoman declined to comment.