EX-POSH COACH DIES ON DAY OF CHILD SEX CASE
Michael ‘Kit’ Carson was killed in car crash 15 minutes before his trial for assaults on young boys was due to start
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