December 2010

Behind bars at last, pervert who lived high life in Cancun

A sex offender who fled to Mexico and spent months living the ‘high life’ has finally been sent to jail.

David Garrity was on bail for downloading child abuse images when he jetted out to Cancun.

Officers from the UK Borders Agency seized computer equipment and his phone moments before he boarded the plane, but were powerless to stop him because his bail conditions did not prevent him from travelling. Knowing the seized equipment contained yet more extreme images of child abuse, Garrity failed to return for his court appearance and spent 10 months on the run in Mexico.

While detectives were hunting him, he posted pictures of himself online enjoying the high life. One set of images discovered by police showed the fugitive cavorting with scantily-clad barmaids at a Hooters bar.

The 34-year-old, of Redcross Road, Timperley, Altrincham, was eventually brought to justice after Bev Shawcross, a Greater Manchester Police detective, called in Interpol and the Mexican authorities to track him down. Now, following extradition, he has been jailed for two years and four months at Manchester Crown Court.

The investigation into Garrity began in June 2008 when a former lover discovered he had hidden computer equipment at her home and that it contained disturbing child porn images.

When Garrity’s home address was searched more child porn was uncovered. Six months later, Garrity, a former security guard at Wythenshawe Hospital, turned up at Manchester Airport bound for Cancun.

In a routine check border officials found that he was on bail for the offences after looking at the Police National Computer. But his bail conditions did not stop him from travelling, and he used his return ticket as proof that he would be coming back.

It was only after he had boarded the plane that searches of his seized computer and his home revealed more child porn. He left behind his terminally-ill mother, who died of cancer while he was away, and only returned in October after being escorted back by Mexican police.

Garrity admitted possessing 128 child porn images, most of which were in the second worst category of seriousness, and breaching his bail conditions. He must sign the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years, has been banned from working with children for life.