Cleaning Belfast Articles

Trust Adam Clayton

This week U2 bassist Adam Claytons former PA was sentenced to 7 years after being found guilty of stealing € 2.8 million from him, over a 4 year period. A few things have surprised me about this case. Carol Hawkins was originally employed as his housekeeper and in 2004 given the new position of PA, which in turn gave her access to his bank accounts. No doubt that with a fair length of employment history Clayton trusted her. But housekeeper to PA is quite a jump in roles with a whole new level of trust required. I wonder if she was interviewed for this position against other candidates?

U2s fortune is not short of half a billion euros as we know, and so each band member will also have a fair decent personal share of that. Their business interests extend outside the U2 entity as well. All the band members should be versed in employing the best lawyers, accountants, business advisors and staff that money can buy. So why was the job given to Carol Hawkins?

Even stranger still is her thefts of € 600,000+ per year over 4 years seem to have not been noticed that much. € 2.8 millionĀ  obviously won't bankrupt Clayton, and I wouldn't suggest he has time to read his bank statements - who does? But surely that's what he pays top dollar to his accountants for? How did they not see this amount of money being misappropriated?

Make no mistake, Adam Clayton is clearly a great employer as the case has shown, and he must feel devastated that his trust in an individual has caused him to be stabbed in the back, let alone the loss of all that money. Hawkins behaviour is nothing short of disgraceful and she deserves every day of her sentence, and I hope that Clayton is able to claw back some of the missing cash from sales of her assets. I would also hope that to avoid this happening again, Clayton asks a few questions of himself, and of the other professionals he employs.

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