UK Markets close in 8 hrs 12 mins

U2 Star's PA Jailed For Seven Years

(c) Sky News 2012

The former personal assistant of U2 star Adam Clayton has been jailed for seven years for the embezzlement of £2.2m (2.8m euro).

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

Clayton was not in court as the 48-year-old who had breached his absolute trust was led away by prison guards.

She (SNP: ^SHEY - news) stared straight ahead as Judge Patrick McCartan delivered the sentence, trying to contain her emotions.

"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," said Judge McCartan.

He said the fact Hawkins (NasdaqGS: HWKN - news) 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.

"These were crimes rooted in greed and nothing else," he said.

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

Hawkins had claimed that Clayton authorised her spending, including several foreign trips, 22 thoroughbred horses, a new car and university courses for her children.

But Clayton said he had known nothing about it and gave Hawkins access to his bank accounts solely to pay bills related to his Dublin mansion.

Hawkins worked for Clayton for 17 years until he found out what she had been doing in 2008.