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Trial of Clayton's former PA begins

THE trial is expected to begin today of a former personal assistant and housekeeper to Adam Clayton who is accused of stealing almost €3m from the U2 bass player.

Carol Hawkins (47) of Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin, yesterday pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to 181 counts of theft from two of Mr Clayton's Bank of Ireland accounts between 2004 and 2008.

The total amount in the alleged thefts was €2,862,567.

Mr Clayton, who was accompanied by U2 manager Paul McGuinness, looked relaxed yesterday as he attended the court to hear the charges being put to his former personal assistant.

It took almost two hours to read all the charges to Ms Hawkins in court.

Judge Patrick McCartan said it was a tedious process but a necessary part of the judicial process.

A jury of seven men and five women was yesterday sworn in for the case.

Mr Clayton is expected to give evidence in the trial which is scheduled to last six weeks.

The case will hear evidence from more than 30 witnesses and the book of evidence takes up more than 2,500 pages.

Irish Independent