U2 bass guitarist Adam Clayton has won a court case against his former personal assistant. Carol Hawkins has been sentenced to seven years in prison for the embezzlement of €2.8 million of Mr. Clayton’s money.
Carol Hawkins was last week convicted of 181 counts of theft from the Mr. Clayton’s bank accounts over a four-year period.
Mr. Clayton was not in court as the 48-year-old who had breached his absolute trust was led away by prison guards. She stared straight ahead as Judge Patrick McCartan delivered the sentence, trying to contain her emotions.
“Nothing, frankly, could explain away the scale of this dishonesty other than the greed in pursuit of a lavish lifestyle that was no responsibility of Mr Clayton’s,” said Judge McCartan.
He said the fact Ms Hawkins maintained her innocence throughout the trial was a factor in his sentencing and suggested if given an opportunity to commit a similar crime in the future, he was not entirely confident she would resist.
“These were crimes rooted in greed and nothing else,” he said.
“Whether she was a fool or clever person really matters very little.”
During the three-and-a-half week trial Clayton said the mother-of-two had gained his “absolute trust” over the 17 years she worked for him.
She was signatory on two of his bank accounts from which she wrote 181 cheques to deposit in her own account, a joint account with her then husband John Hawkins and a credit card account.