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Adams Clayton: U2 star's former PA Carol Hawkins loses theft conviction appeal

Adam Clayton Image copyright AP
Image caption Adam Clayton's former PA and housekeeper Carol Hawkins stole money from the U2 bassist's bank accounts over a four-year period

A former personal assistant to U2 star Adam Clayton has lost an appeal against her conviction for stealing more than 2.8m euros (£2.2m) from the guitarist.

In 2012, Carol Hawkins was found guilty of 181 counts of theft from his bank accounts. The judge said she had used the money to fund a "lavish lifestyle"

The expensive items she bought included 22 racehorses and a New York apartment.

The Irish Court of Criminal Appeal has upheld the conviction. It has still to rule on the severity of her jail term.

Position of trust

The former PA was sentenced to seven years in prison after her 2012 trial, but later appealed both her conviction and the length of the jail term imposed.

Originally from north London, Hawkins later moved to Rathmines, Dublin, and took up a position of trust in the multi-millionaire musician's home.

Her original trial was told that she embezzled the money from two of Mr Clayton's bank accounts over a four-year period, from 2004 to 2008.

The 51-year-old, who carried out housekeeping duties for the U2 star, spent the cash on shopping sprees and on her children's education.

At the Court of Criminal Appeal in Dublin, her lawyers had argued that her conviction was unsafe on several grounds.

Privacy

These included alleged inadequacies in the disclosure process of her trial, admission of prejudicial evidence and the refusal to exclude witnesses from court during cross-examination.

Her barrister told the court that the privacy afforded to Mr Clayton during the 2012 trial had "effectively hamstrung" Ms Hawkins' defence.

However, the three judges who heard her case dismissed all grounds of the appeal.

They will rule on her appeal against the seven-year jail term within the next few days

Hawkins was not present in court for the ruling.

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