U2 bassist's assistant 'stole €2.8m'

 

A former personal assistant of U2's Adam Clayton earned his trust before being promoted to the role and embezzling €2.8 million of his funds, a court heard today.

Carol Hawkins is on trial for 181 counts of stealing cheques from the bass player between 2004 and 2008.

The Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin heard how the 48-year-old worked for Clayton for some 16 years, earning up to €48,000 a year and living rent free at his home.

She was initially employed as a housekeeper at the bassist's Georgian mansion - Danesmoate - in Rathfarnham, South Dublin, but quickly gained his trust and was promoted over the years to the role of personal assistant.

Prosecution barrister, senior counsel Colm O'Briain, told the jury of seven men and five women that Clayton appointed Ms Hawkins as signatory to a number of his bank accounts.

It was from two particular accounts - known as the Fitzwilliam account and the Danesmoate account - that she is accused of withdrawing a total €2.8 million over four years.

Clayton, dressed in a dark jacket and white shirt, sat intently at the back of the court as the prosecution opened its case.

Mr O'Briain said Ms Hawkins and her then husband John Hawkins, who had also been employed by Clayton as a driver, lived at the musician's Danesmoate home - where U2 recorded their album The Joshua Tree.

The property was refurbished during 2005 and Ms Hawkins and her husband were forced to move into another house, which Clayton picked up the monthly rent bill of around €2,600.

The pair had also been paid a joint salary, taking in around €3,800 a month.

But Clayton continued to pay Ms Hawkins the full amount even after her marriage ended in 2007, eventually raising her monthly income to 4,080 - representing a net salary of around €48,000 , the barrister added.

Ms Hawkins, from Lower Rathmines Road in Dublin, denies all the charges.

The trial, before Judge Patrick McCartan, is expected to last six weeks.

Mr O'Briain described the case as "a grubby tale" involving a gross breach of trust.

He urged the jury not to be swayed by the fact that Clayton is famous and wealthy, saying no man deserves to be stolen from by someone he trusts.

"Mr Clayton employed Ms Hawkins from 1992. She lived in his own house for 13 or 14 years, he placed a substantial amount of trust in her," Mr O'Briain went on.

"Trust developed. He is no different from anyone else in respect of that. He is as entitled as any other to place his trust in people, to rely on that trust and to not go about his life thinking the worst of people."

Ms Hawkins is accused of stealing cheques from two bank accounts on which she was a signatory.

She allegedly withdrew €1.7 million (£1.1 million) from the Fitzwilliam account and €1.1 million euro (£889,400) from the Danesmoate account.

The funds were then placed in three separate accounts - her own personal account, a joint account between herself and her husband John and a Bank of Ireland Credit Card Services account.

Clayton will be called as a witness during the trial.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power