Former U2 personal assistant Carol Hawkins jailed for seven years

Carol Hawkins, 48, was convicted on 181 counts of theft
Image caption Carol Hawkins, 48, was convicted on 181 counts of theft

The former personal assistant of U2 star Adam Clayton has been jailed for seven years for embezzling 2.8m euros (£2.2m) of his money to fund a lavish lifestyle.

Carol Hawkins, 48, was last week convicted on 181 counts of theft from the bassist's bank accounts over a four-year period.

Clayton was not in court for the sentencing.

The judge said Hawkins' crimes were "rooted in greed and nothing else".

Judge Patrick McCartan said: "Nothing, frankly, could explain away the scale of this dishonesty other than the greed in pursuit of a lavish lifestyle that was no responsibility of Mr Clayton's."

He said the fact Ms Hawkins had maintained her innocence throughout the trial was a factor in his sentencing and suggested if given an opportunity to commit a similar crime in the future, he was not entirely confident she would resist.

"Whether she was a fool or clever person really matters very little," he said.

The jury at the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin returned an unanimous verdict on each individual count after deliberating for more than five hours last week.

Ms Hawkins, who has always protested her innocence, had been freed on bail until sentencing.

Speaking after the verdict was delivered, Mr Clayton said he was pleased with the verdict and thanked his legal team.

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