Ex-youth football coach killed himself before sex abuse trial, coroner rules

A former youth football coach and scout whose car crashed into a tree on the day he was due to go on trial on historical sex abuse charges took his own life, a coroner has concluded.

Michael “Kit” Carson, 75, had denied 12 counts of indecent assault and one of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

The allegations involved 11 boys under the age of 16 between 1978 and 2009.

Carson’s trial was listed to begin at Peterborough Crown Court on January 7 but he died in a single-vehicle crash that morning.

He was the driver of a Mazda 3 car that crashed off the A1303 at Bottisham, around seven miles east of Cambridge.

Cambridgeshire assistant coroner Simon Milburn recorded a conclusion of suicide at the inquest in Huntingdon on Monday, saying Carson steered deliberately into the tree and “intended to take his own life”.

The coroner said there was no evidence whatsoever of Carson (pictured) taking “avoiding action” before hitting the tree.

The inquest heard Carson did not think he was due in court for his trial until January 9 and only realised on the morning of January 7 that he was required in court.

The coroner summarised parts of a written statement from Carson’s wife Pauline in which she said her husband was “concerned because he was running late”.

The inquest heard Carson contacted his barrister at around 9am on January 7 regarding what time to meet on Wednesday, two days later.

The coroner said Mrs Carson described her husband as “stressed and confused” after he was told by his barrister that he needed to get to court that morning.

The inquest heard the barrister did not want Carson to be stressed and told him to take his time.

The coroner said the route Carson took that morning to Peterborough was not the “most logical”.

In her statement, Mrs Carson said they had “continued with family life” and were “relieved” they had reached the point of the trial starting.

Carson died at the scene, with no other vehicles or people involved, and the cause of death was confirmed as a traumatic brain injury.

The inquest heard there was no evidence to suggest Carson was travelling at excess speed, nor was there evidence he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

He was not using his mobile phone at the time of the collision and there was no evidence of mechanical faults in the vehicle.

Carson was wearing his seat belt and airbags were deployed.

The coroner also said it was clear from the medical evidence there was no medical emergency or natural conditions that contributed to Carson’s death.

The section of rural single-carriageway road where the collision took place is straight and has a 60mph speed limit.

Collision investigator Pc Sean Redman told the inquest he could find no evidence of skidding.

He also said the weather was calm and overcast that morning and described visibility as good.

Mr Redman said he could find no evidence any “evasive action” had been taken by Carson.

Carson, of St Bartholomew’s Court, Riverside, Cambridge, had worked at Norwich City, Peterborough United and Cambridge United.

He was on bail at the time of his death.

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