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Adam Clayton’s former PA pleads not guilty to alleged €2.8m embezzlement

A FORMER personal assistant of U2 bassist Adam Clayton will stand trial tomorrow after pleading not guilty to the alleged embezzlement of €2.8m of his funds.

Carol Hawkins, 48, was charged with 184 counts of theft from a number of the musician's bank accounts between 2004 to 2008.

The Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard today that on one occasion in 2007 she made a single withdrawal of €310,000.

The remainder of the alleged transactions ranged from €1,000 to €36,000 over the four-year period.

Ms Hawkins, of Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin, pleaded not guilty to every count.

Clayton, who sat in court during the proceedings, will be called as a witness when the trial gets under way.

The 52-year-old bass player, dressed in a navy suit with an unbuttoned white shirt, looked relaxed as the registrar listed every charge against his former assistant.

He was joined by U2 manager Paul McGuinness in the public gallery of the court room.

Judge Patrick McCartan spent half an hour appointing and swearing in the jury today - of seven men and five women - and indicated the trial could take up to six weeks.

It then took several hours for the court to arraign Ms Hawkins. The judge had insisted each of the 184 courts against her be read out in keeping with legal formalities.

Ms Hawkins, who is understood to have another address at Crannagh Road, Rathfarnham, responded quietly during her arraignment when she was asked to voice her plea after each count.

She denied all charges, which included stealing Bank of Ireland cheques from Clayton and drawing funds in favour of Bank of Ireland credit card services.

The prosecution will make its opening remarks tomorrow morning.