Michael ‘Kit’ Car­son was killed in car crash 15 min­utes be­fore his trial for as­saults on young boys was due to start

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Stephen Briggs, Joel Lamy and Bob French [email protected]­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk

A for­mer Peter­bor­ough United youth coach ac­cused of sex­u­ally abus­ing young boys died in a car crash on the morn­ing his crown court trial was due to start.

Michael ‘Kit’ Car­son was due to stand trial on Mon­day morn­ing at Peter­bor­ough Crown Court, af­ter he was charged with 12 of­fences against 11 boys, all aged un­der 16. The charges dated be­tween 1979 and 2009. Many of the al­leged of­fences were said to have taken place in the Peter­bor­ough and Eye ar­eas.

Car­son - who was Academy Di­rec­tor at Lon­don Road be­tween 1993 and 2001, and was de­scribed as one of the best youth coaches in the busi­ness dur­ing his time in Peter­bor­ough - de­nied all the charges against him.

The trial was due to start at 10am on Mon­day, and last for sev­eral weeks - but Car­son (75) of St Bartholomew’s Court, Cam­bridge, was in­volved in a sin­gle ve­hi­cle crash on the A1303 at Bot­tisham, near Cam­bridge - about 40 miles away from the court - just 15 min­utes be­fore the trial was due to start. His red Mazda 3 hit a tree on the coun­try road.

Emer­gency ser­vices tried to save Car­son, but he died at the scene.

No-one else was in the car when the col­li­sion hap­pened, and Car­son was car­ry­ing a num­ber of iden­tity doc­u­ments at the time of the crash. Po­lice have now started an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the cause of the crash.

Other than dam­age to the tree, all ev­i­dence of the crash had been cleared by Tues­day morn­ing.

The case was ad­journed on Mon­day morn­ing, and it was not un­til Tues­day morn­ing when it was re­vealed what had hap­pened.

Jeremy Ben­son, pros­e­cut­ing, said: “The de­fen­dant died yes­ter­day morn­ing. He was in­volved in a road traf­fic col­li­sion at about 9.45am yes­ter­day morn­ing. No other ve­hi­cles were in­volved.

“There is an in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­ing car­ried out and I there­fore don’t pro­pose to go into any other de­tails.

“The po­si­tion is that the car was reg­is­tered to Mr Car­son and the per­son who died was of the ap­pro­pri­ate age and had in his pos­ses­sion iden­ti­fi­ca­tion doc­u­ments in the name of Mr Car­son, and also yes­ter­day af­ter­noon at ap­prox­i­mately 4.30pm the body was iden­ti­fied by Mr Car­son’s widow.”

In­spec­tor Amar­jit Singh QPM, from Cam­bridgeshire po­lice told the court the body of Car­son was for­mally iden­ti­fied by his wife Pauline Car­son.

Sam Stock­well, who would have been Car­son’s de­fence coun­sel, made no com­ment to the court.

Judge Matthew Lowe closed the case.

A Cam­bridgeshire po­lice spokesman said: “The vic­tims have been in­formed and ef­forts are be­ing made to con­tact all the wit­nesses. “Any­one who saw the col­li­sion or has dash­cam footage should call 101, quot­ing in­ci­dent 100 of Jan­uary 7.” A spokes­woman for the Peter­bor­ough Rape Cri­sis Care Group said their thoughts were with the com­plainants in the case. She said: “It must be a very dif­fi­cult time for the sur­vivors to feel they’ve lost the chance to have their mo­ment in court. “Get­ting a his­toric case to trial stage can be a long process, but at least this story proves it is pos­si­ble to bring a case to court no mat­ter when it oc­curred.

“We hope that the fact they

‘It must be a very dif­fi­cult time for the sur­vivors (Car­son’s al­leged vic­tims)’

Peter­bor­ough Rape Cri­sis Care Group

were be­lieved and lis­tened to by po­lice, and also that it’s al­lowed them to dis­cover other sur­vivors in the same sit­u­a­tion, will be some help to them.

“Peter­bor­ough Rape Cri­sis Care Group pro­vides sup­port through the court process with our in­de­pen­dent sex­ual vi­o­lence ad­vi­sor ser­vices as well as ther­a­peu­tic sup­port to em­power sur­vivors to­wards re­cov­ery.”

Car­son had been charged with 12 counts of in­de­cent as­sault, and one of in­cit­ing a child to en­gage in sex­ual ac­tiv­ity.

The of­fences were al­leged to have hap­pened be­tween 1978 and 2009 and in­volve 11 vic­tims, all boys un­der the age of 16.

The vic­tims can­not be named for le­gal rea­sons.

Nine of the of­fences were said to have taken place in the Peter­bor­ough area.

One is said to have taken place in a ho­tel in Liver­pool, and one in Cam­bridge. An­other was said to have hap­pened in an ‘un­known lo­ca­tion.’

At his first court ap­pear­ance at Cam­bridge Mag­is­trates’ Court in April 2018, Car­son made no com­ment to the me­dia wait­ing out­side.

Along with his spell at Peter­bor­ough United, Car­son also worked for Cam­bridge United and Nor­wich City foot­ball clubs, and pre­vi­ous court hear­ings were told the trial was un­likely to be held in Cam­bridgeshire or Nor­wich - but it was even­tu­ally agreed it could be held in Peter­bor­ough. The trial was ex­pected to last up to six weeks.

A spokesman for the NSPCC said they could not com­ment on the case, but said any vic­tim of non-re­cent sex­ual abuse could con­tact their helpline on 0808 800 5000.

For help and ad­vice from the Peter­bor­ough Rape Cri­sis Care Group, call their free helpline on Wed­nes­day even­ing or Satur­day morn­ing 01733 852 578 or visit www.caprcp.org.uk.

Res­i­dents who wish to re­port re­cent or non re­cent child sex­ual abuse can con­tact Cam­bridgeshire po­lice on 101, or in an emer­gency 999.

The Peter­bor­ough Tele­graph con­tacted Peter­bor­ough United, The Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion and The Crown Pros­e­cu­tion Ser­vice fol­low­ing Car­son’s death. Spokesman for all three or­gan­i­sa­tions said they would be mak­ing no com­ment.

In un­con­nected mat­ters, an­other for­mer Peter­bor­ough United youth coach, Bob Hig­gins, was found guilty of one count of in­de­cent as­sault and not guilty of an­other count at a trial at Winch­ester Crown Court last year. The jury were un­able to reach a ver­dict on 48 other counts, and a re­trial is sched­uled to take place later this year.

Michael Car­son out­side Cam­bridge Mag­is­trates’ Court last year af­ter an ear­lier court ap­pear­ance

The scene of the crash at Bot­tisham

Car­son at Peter­bor­ough United

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