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June, 29

U2 star's aide guilty of thefts

 
 
 
 
U2 star's aide guilty of thefts

U2 star Adam Clayton's former personal assistant has been found guilty of embezzling 2.8 million euro (£2.2 million) from him to fund a lavish lifestyle.

Carol Hawkins was convicted on 181 counts of theft from the bassist's bank accounts over a four-year period.

Clayton walked into the courtroom as the jury at the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin returned an unanimous verdict on each individual count. Jurors had been deliberating for more than five hours.

Judge Partick McCartan released 48-year-old Hawkins on bail until sentencing on Friday July 6.

He told the jury: "The evidence in this case was overwhelming. Nobody could seriously disagree with the verdict you have given."

Mother-of-two Hawkins, who showed no emotion as each verdict was delivered, had gained the musician's "absolute trust" for the 17 years she worked for him.

She was signatory on two of his bank accounts from which she wrote 181 cheques to deposit it her own account, a joint account with her then-husband John Hawkins and a credit card account.

Her deception emerged in 2008 when she confessed to booking herself between 13,000 euro (£10,500) and 15,000 euro (£12,100) worth of flights on his account to visit her children in the US and London. Investigations later revealed that thousands of euro had been spent on exotic holidays and in designer boutiques in New York, such as Roberto Cavalli. Hawkins also bought 22 horses, with more than 400,000 euro (£320,400) of Clayton's cash listed as horse and horse expenditure.

No defence was given during the trial.

Outside court, Clayton met fans and posed for photographs before making a brief statement welcoming the verdict and thanking family and friends for their support.

 

Source: music.uk.msn.com
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