Irish jury is told to ignore U2’s Adam Clayton’s celebrity status
Lawyers describe fraud trial against assistant as a ‘grubby tale’
U2 bass player Adam Clayton is at the centre of a ‘grubby tale’ in a Dublin court – but his legal team has warned the jury it is not a celebrity trial.
Clayton’s former personal assistant Carol Hawkins has gone on trial for stealing over $3.5million from the rock star’s bank accounts.
The 48-year-old Hawkins has denied all 181 charges of stealing cheques and cash from various bank accounts held by multi-millionaire Clayton.
The opening day of the case at Dublin’s Circuit Criminal Court, heard lawyers for Clayton argue that his former aide had ‘breached his trust’.
Barristers for Clayton called it: “A grubby tale of prolonged, repeated and pernicious fraud.”
The court heard how the 48-year-old allegedly stole the money from two bank accounts on which she was a signatory over a four-year period.
State prosecutor Colm O’Briain asked the jury not to judge Clayton on his celebrity status and wealth.
“Adam Clayton has done well for himself and for his country but he did not deserve to be betrayed by someone he trusted,” argued O’Briain.
He added: “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.
“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.”
The court also heard that Hawkins worked for Clayton for 16 years, first as a housekeeper before she was promoted to the role of personal assistant, and named as signatory on a number of his bank accounts.
She is accused of stealing from two separate accounts between 2004 and 2008 and moving the funds to her personal account, a joint account with her former husband, who also worked for Clayton, and her credit card account.
The prosecution intend to call Clayton as a witness during the trial.
The court heard that Hawkins enjoyed a monthly salary worth $5,000 and that Clayton continued to pay Hawkins the full amount even after her marriage ended in 2007.
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