Cambridgeshire

Football coach Kit Carson killed himself on day of trial

Michael "Kit" Carson Image copyright PA
Image caption Michael "Kit" Carson had denied all the charges and his trial had been due to begin at Peterborough Crown Court

A football coach killed himself by crashing into a tree on the first day of his sex abuse trial.

Michael "Kit" Carson, 75, who had been accused of sexual abuse of boys under 16, crashed his car on the A1303, near Bottisham, Cambridgeshire, in January.

Coroner Simon Milburn said he believed Mr Carson, who had been driving away from court at the time of the crash, had "intended to take his own life".

Mr Carson had denied abusing boys over the 30-year period from 1978.

The inquest in Huntingdon was told there was no evidence of any braking or sharp steering by Mr Carson to avoid the tree.

Post-mortem tests found the former youth football coach and scout, who had worked at Norwich City, Peterborough United and Cambridge United, died at the scene of the crash on 7 January from a traumatic brain injury.

Image copyright Terry-Harris.com
Image caption Mr Carson died at the scene on the A1303 at Bottisham

In a statement read out in court, consultant pathologist Kieren Allison said the death would have been "near instantaneous" and was "consistent with a head-on collision at high velocity".

The court heard Mr Carson, from Cambridge, had been wearing a seatbelt when he crashed, no other vehicles were involved and there was no evidence to suggest he had been using a mobile phone, or had suffered a medical emergency.

Coroner Mr Milburn said Mr Carson had been travelling from his home in Cambridge to Peterborough Crown Court, but "the route he took was not by any means the most logical route".

The court was told the "most direct route" for the journey, north west to Peterborough, would have been to use the A14, but Mr Carson had travelled east.

'Stressed and confused'

PC Sean Redman, from Cambridgeshire Police, said Mr Carson's Mazda had gone 48m (157ft) from the road into the tree.

He said he could "find no evidence that any evasive action had been taken" by Mr Carson after he came off the road.

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 statement her husband had been "under the impression his case would be delayed by two days".

She said he appeared "stressed and confused" after he was told by his barrister that he needed to get to court that morning.

However, she said her husband 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 had denied 13 counts in total, which included 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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