Saturday 24 February 2018

Adam Clayton's PA 'spent €1.5m on credit card in four years'

U2 star Adam Clayton arriving at court yesterday (left) and Carol Hawkins (right)
U2 star Adam Clayton arriving at court yesterday (left) and Carol Hawkins (right)

Nicola Donnelly

THE former personal assistant of Adam Clayton, who is accused of stealing nearly €3m from him, spent almost €1.5m on her credit card within four years, a court has heard.

Carol Hawkins (48) also paid out more than €434,000 in horse-related expenses from her personal bank account to stud farms and trainers in America and the UK, a forensic accountant told the court.

The court has already heard that Ms Hawkins and her husband John, who was employed as Mr Clayton's driver, owned up to 22 thoroughbred racehorses from 2005 to 2008 when they were on a joint salary of €48,000.

Ms Hawkins has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 181 counts of theft from two of Mr Clayton's Bank of Ireland accounts from 2004 to 2008.

The alleged thefts totalled €2,869,274.

David McManus, a garda forensic accountant, said €22,611 had been paid to the New York Film Academy from her personal account between November 2005 and June 2006. A further €17,971 had been paid for the lease of an apartment in New York between October 2006 and March 2007.

During this time, €350,602 had been paid through a bank draft from her account to purchase an apartment in New York.

Mr McManus told counsel he examined the personal, joint and credit card accounts of Ms Hawkins, of Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin, along with the Danesmoate and Fitzwilliam accounts of Mr Clayton.

He said he located regular lodgments of cheques from €1,500 to €310,000 from Mr Clayton's two accounts to Ms Hawkins's accounts over the four-year period.

He gave evidence that an average of €304,084 a year was being spent from Ms Hawkins's credit card account. Her son Joe and daughter Eleanor both held a Mastercard and Visa card each linked to this account. The trial continues before Judge Patrick McCartan.

Irish Independent

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