Published Friday, 06 July 2012
Carol Hawkins arrived at a Dublin court on Friday for sentencing. (© PA)
Carol Hawkins splashed out on 22 racehorses, exotic holidays, limousine services and designer clothes using £2.2 million of Mr Clayton's cash.
At a court in Dublin on Friday, Judge McCartan said the mother-of-two had breached the U2 performer's trust and believed she was entitled to his money.
"Mr Clayton seems to this court from what has emerged from this case to be a good employer, a person who was capable of showing care and compassion, who gave the accused a second chance," he added.
The judge criticised Hawkins' attitude during the trial, saying she maintained a "false belief in innocence" despite being found guilty.
The accused used her position of signatory on two of Mr Clayton's bank accounts to write 181 cheques over a four year period. The cash was deposited into Hawkins' own account, a joint account shared with her husband and a credit card account.
Hawkins, of Lower Rathmines Road in Dublin, confessed to spending €15,000 of Mr Clayton's cash on flights to visit her children living in New York and London.
A subsequent investigation revealed shopping sprees, including a car for her son and that Hawkins had also used the rock star's money to pay for fashion and film courses for her kids.
Judge McCartan ordered that cash made through the sale of a New York apartment bought by Hawkins should go towards repaying some of the €2.8m that she stole.
She was employed as a housekeeper at Clayton's Rathfarnham mansion in 1992, and after gaining his trust was appointed as his PA.
This meant Hawkins was responsible for some of his bookkeeping, while her former husband, John, also worked as a casual driver and cook for the bassist.
The couple were paid a joint salary of around €48,000 and when they split in 2007, Mr Clayton paid the full amount to Ms Hawkins.
Defence barrister, senior counsel Ken Fogarty pointed out that Hawkins had no more than a high school education and that she intends to try to pay back the money.