Housekeeper to U2 star Adam Clayton 'gained his trust'

Adam Clayton and Paul McGuinness U2 bass guitarist Adam Clayton (left) leaves court with U2 manager Paul McGuinness

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U2 bassist Adam Clayton's personal assistant embezzled 2.8m euro after gaining his trust, a court has heard.

Carol Hawkins, of Lower Rathmines Road in Dublin, is accused of 181 counts of theft. She denies the charges.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was told how she worked for Clayton for 16 years, earning up to 48,000 euro a year and living rent-free at his home.

A prosecution barrister said Clayton appointed her as signatory to a number of his bank accounts.

Carol Hawkins Carol Hawkins, pictured arriving at court, denies the charges

It was from two particular accounts - known as the Fitzwilliam account and the Danesmoate account - that she is accused of withdrawing the money between 2004 and 2008.

The barrister said Ms Hawkins and her then husband John Hawkins, who had also been employed by Clayton as a driver, lived at the bassist's home - where U2 recorded their album The Joshua Tree.

The property was refurbished in 2005, and Clayton paid their monthly rent of about 2,600 euro when Ms Hawkins and her husband were forced to move into another house.

The couple had also been paid a joint salary, taking in around 3,800 euro a month.

Their marriage ended in 2007, but the barrister said Clayton continued to pay Ms Hawkins the full amount, eventually raising her monthly income to 4,080 - representing a net salary of around 48,000 euro.

Clayton was in court to hear the prosecution open its case in the trial, which is expected to last six weeks.

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