Clayton denies money spent on him

Fri, Jun 22, 2012, 01:00

U2 star Adam Clayton has denied that money lodged in his former personal assistant’s bank account was spent on him.

Ms Hawkins (48) of Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 181 counts of theft from two of Mr Clayton’s Bank of Ireland accounts over a four year period from 2004 to 2008. The alleged thefts totalled €2,869,274.

Defence barrister, Ken Fogarty SC, argued that money spent from Ms Hawkins’s accounts on lavish purchases, such as designer clothing and limousines, was for the musician’s benefit.

“I’m denying that,” said Mr Clayton during his second day on the witness stand at the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin. “The fact is she wrote cheques from my accounts and put them in her accounts. She was using my accounts to pay her bills."

Under cross-examination, the U2 star said he never seen Ms Hawkins wear designer shoes “with red soles” or expensive handbags “from Fifth Avenue”.

Dressed in a navy blazer and blue shirt, the relaxed musician said it was not his job to speculate what the defendant spent the alleged stolen money on.

Mr Fogarty told the court that money spent from Ms Hawkins’s accounts was varied.

“There seems to be a list from the ordinary to the extraordinary of life: from Marks and Spencer to those places where they sell handbags in New York,” he went on.

“Have you ever seen her walking around with a pair of shoes with a red sole? Can you tell me if you ever saw handbags that cost a small fortune hanging off her arm?” Mr Clayton said he had not.

When asked if he heard an account of Ms Hawkins’s two children Eleanor and Joe “swanning around in limousines”, he replied no.

The jury of seven men and five women previously heard that Ms Hawkins owned 22 horses including racehorses and broodmares. She also allegedly spent thousands on film and fashion education courses which Mr Clayton suggested were for her children.

Hawkins worked for the bassist for 17 years from 1992. She was signatory to two of his bank accounts and was responsible for signing off on payments related to the star’s south Dublin mansion Danesmoate, ranging from petty cash to larger refurbishment bills.

The court earlier heard that she lodged the alleged stolen cheques in her personal bank account, a joint account with her then husband John Hawkins and a credit card account.

The alleged deception emerged in 2008 when she confessed to booking herself between €13,000 and €15,000 worth of flights on his account to visit her children in the US and London, the court previously heard.

Mr Clayton has told the jury that while he was “rattled” by the revelation, he sympathised with the mother-of-two who had at the time recently gone through a marriage break-up and claimed to be suicidal.

The trial continues before Judge Patrick McCartan.