U2 bassist's aide found guilty of stealing from him

DUBLIN Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:35pm EDT

Lead singer Bono of Irish rock band U2 performs with Adam Clayton (L) during their 360 Degree Tour at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels September 22, 2010. REUTERS/Thierry Roge

Lead singer Bono of Irish rock band U2 performs with Adam Clayton (L) during their 360 Degree Tour at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels September 22, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Thierry Roge

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DUBLIN (Reuters) - A former personal assistant to U2 bassist Adam Clayton was found guilty on Friday of stealing 2.8 million euros ($3.5 million) from the musician to fund a lavish lifestyle.

Carol Hawkins, 48, from Dublin, was convicted in a unanimous jury verdict after an 18-day trial at Circuit Criminal Court in the Irish capital. Prosecutors said she stole from two of Clayton's bank accounts between 2004 and 2008.

Giving evidence, Clayton said he had been "absolutely amazed" when it was discovered that Hawkins, who enjoyed his absolute trust, had spent 434,000 euros on racehorses and stables.

Clayton hired Hawkins to run his house near Dublin, and to cook and shop for him. She became a signatory to two of his accounts in 2004, but he said this was for legitimate expenses.

Clayton's lawyer Colm O'Briain told the jury that Hawkins "played on the good nature and trust" of the rock musician and "proceeded like a whirlwind down Fifth Avenue and Bond Street to the delight of retailers".

Hawkins, who pleaded not guilty, will be sentenced on July 6.

(Editing by Jill Serjeant and Dale Hudson)

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