Clayton denies PA bought items for him in her name


U2 BASS guitarist Adam Clayton has denied that the former personal assistant accused of stealing nearly €3 million from him purchased items for him in her name to protect his privacy.

The musician told the trial of Carol Hawkins: “The fact is she wrote cheques from my accounts and put them in her accounts.” “She was using my accounts to pay her bills,” Mr Clayton emphasised.

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

Under cross-examination by defence counsel Ken Fogarty SC, Mr Clayton denied Ms Hawkins spent the money for his benefit.

Mr Fogarty suggested privacy was the reason why Ms Hawkins’s name was on the lease for the apartment at Taylor’s Hill in 2006, which was rented while renovations were taking place at Mr Clayton’s Danesmoate estate.

“You would prefer not to have every Tom, Dick and Harry knowing things about you, bar he lives there,” Mr Fogarty said. “That would be fair,” Mr Clayton replied.

Mr Clayton agreed he was paying the rent on behalf of Ms Hawkins as this was part of her salary deal. “But there was no necessity for her to pay for things for me in her own name,” he said.

Mr Clayton said he lives a perfectly normal, regular life when he is not working and he has “done shopping” for himself. When it was put to him that some people live in a more rarefied atmosphere than others, he replied: “Only when I’m working.” “We all live in the same world,” Mr Clayton said.

He agreed with Mr Fogarty he had never seen the accused “swanning around in a limo”, or seen her “wearing shoes with the red soles”, referring to Christian Louboutin shoes purchased on Ms Hawkins’s credit card with money allegedly transferred from Mr Clayton’s bank account.

He said he did not give Ms Hawkins permission to spend his money educating her two children. He said he had hired Ms Hawkins and her husband John to work for him and how they educated their children was not his concern.

He said he was not concerned about how Mr Hawkins paid for the upkeep of the horse he lent him €20,000 to purchase. He said Mr Hawkins told him he could not get a loan from the bank. “They were trusted and I lent the money. That was my involvement.”

Mr Fogarty put it to Mr Clayton that Ms Hawkins’s responsibilities had increased over the years. Mr Clayton agreed but added: “I wouldn’t say she was burdened down with work.”

He objected to the suggestion that Ms Hawkins, on a “modest” salary of €48,000, became “indentured to him as a bond servant”. “I’m sorry, but I have to object to that,” said Mr Clayton.

The trial continues before Judge Patrick McCartan and a jury of seven men and five women.