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U2 Clayton 'trusted' assistant

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Adam Clayton said he had found himself giving evidence at his PA's trial because he was so trusting

Adam Clayton said he had found himself giving evidence at his PA's trial because he was so trusting

Adam Clayton said he had found himself giving evidence at his PA's trial because he was so trusting

U2 star Adam Clayton placed his absolute trust in a former personal assistant accused of stealing 2.8 million euro from him, a court has heard.

The bassist revealed he was so concerned for Carol Hawkins's welfare when she confessed to taking more than 13,000 euro (£10,500) from him that he found her a therapist because she claimed to be suicidal.

Giving evidence against the 48-year-old defendant at her trial, Clayton claimed he was in court because he trusted people. "She had my absolute trust," he told the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin.

"We had been together a long time; working together. She had been very conscientious. I felt she looked after my money and on many occasions accused others of being greedy, so I was extremely surprised."

His former PA, Carol Hawkins, denies stealing 181 cheques from the bassist over a four-year-period.

Hawkins, who worked for Clayton for 16 years, was a signatory on two of his bank accounts from which it is alleged she wrote 181 cheques and lodged into her own account, as well as a joint account with her then husband John Hawkins and a credit card account.

The funds bought 22 horses, exotic holidays and designer clothing, the court heard.

"I was concerned for her health and recommended she see a therapist... In the matter of the money, I accepted she was a distressed woman. Her marriage broke up; her children had gone away. I said we would have to verify the amounts she had been claiming."

Defence barrister, senior counsel Ken Fogarty, put it to Clayton that Hawkins was authorised to spend money on more than just small household necessities with petty cash.

Clayton replied: "I would buy the things I wanted around me, Carol Hawkins bought Corn Flakes."

PA