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Football coach Michael 'Kit' Carson inquest: verdict of suicide




A football coach who was accused of sexually abusing young boys killed himself by driving into a tree on the first day of his trial, an inquest has heard.

Michael ‘Kit’ Carson, 75, of Cambridge, was due to stand trial at Peterborough Crown Court on January 7 this year when his Mazda car left the road and smashed into a tree on the A1303, near Bottisham, Cambridgeshire.

Coroner Simon Milburn said he believed Mr Carson, who had been driving a route that took him away from the court at the time of the crash, had “intended to take his own life”, Huntingdon Law Court heard on Monday (September 9).

Former youth football coach and scout Michael "Kit" Carson, who was due to stand trial accused of the sexual abuse of boys aged under 16, died in a single vehicle road traffic. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire.
Former youth football coach and scout Michael "Kit" Carson, who was due to stand trial accused of the sexual abuse of boys aged under 16, died in a single vehicle road traffic. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire.

Mr Carson had been due to stand trial for historical sexual abuse on the morning of the crash, but his wife Pauline said in a written statement to the court that he had been “stressed and confused” to learn he was required in court that day as he had been “led to believe he was not needed until the Wednesday.”

She said he realised: “It would not be possible to get there for 10am due to traffic.”

But she stated Mr Carson had been “relieved we had reached the point where the case was about to begin - Kit would be able to present his defence"

Mr Carson’s barrister, Mark MacDonald said in a statement that Mr Carson “quite surprised” he was due to appear in court that day but that he had “tried to calm him by telling him to take his time.”

Former youth football coach and scout Michael "Kit" Carson, who was due to stand trial accused of the sexual abuse of boys aged under 16, died in a single vehicle road traffic collision on Monday, January 7. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire.
Former youth football coach and scout Michael "Kit" Carson, who was due to stand trial accused of the sexual abuse of boys aged under 16, died in a single vehicle road traffic collision on Monday, January 7. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire.

However, the court heard from road accident investigation officer PC Redman that there was no evidence Mr Carson had been travelling at high speed before the collision, that the weather conditions had been good. He reported there were no defects to Mr Carson's Mazda car that could have caused the accident.

PC Redman added the car had driven 48 metres on the grass verge from when the vehicle left the road but there was no evidence Mr Carson had braked or turned his wheel sharply before hitting the tree.

A pathologist’s report from Dr Keiron Allinson explained there was no evidence of any medical condition that may have caused or led to Mr Carson’s death and that there was no evidence of drugs or alcohol in Mr Carson’s system other than prescribed medicine in “therapeutic” doses. The pathologist found the cause of death to be “traumatic brain injury”.

Flowers left where Kit Carson died
Flowers left where Kit Carson died

The coroner, Mr Milburn, said that the route Mr Carson took that morning from Cambridge to Peterborough “was not by any means the most logical route from his home” and he suggested that “Mr Carson seems to have been heading in an opposite direction or away from Peterborough rather than towards it.”

Mr Milburn said he could imply from all the evidence that “Mr Carson set a deliberate course off the carriageway and drove into that tree deliberately and, in my view, the obvious inference from that course of action was that he intended to take his own life.”

Mr Carson had denied 13 counts in total, 12 of indecent assault and one charge of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. The charges related to 11 boys under the age of 16.

Concluding the inquest, Mr Milburn ruled Mr Carson died by suicide.



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