Ex-Norwich City coach took his own life ahead of abuse trial, coroner rules
PUBLISHED: 15:32 09 September 2019 | UPDATED: 16:26 09 September 2019
PA Archive/PA Images
A former Norwich City youth coach took his own life when his car hit a tree on the morning he was due to stand trial for historic abuse.
A former Norwich City youth coach took his own life when he smashed his car into a tree on the morning he was due to stand trial for historic abuse.
Michael 'Kit' Carson drove his red Mazda 3 along the grass verge of the A1303 near Bottisham for almost 50 metres before hitting the tree.
He made no attempt to brake or steer back on to the road, Huntingdon Law Courts heard on Monday.
The 75-year old died instantly from a brain injury after the crash on January 7 this year.
He was meant to be standing trial at Peterborough Crown Court that morning for 13 charges against 11 boys, all aged under 16, between 1978 and 2009.
The former Peterborough academy director, of Riverside, Cambridge, had pleaded not guilty at an earlier hearing.
Just after 9am on the morning of the crash he spoke to his barrister, Mark McDonald, who unexpectedly told him he needed to get to court for 10am, the inquest heard.
Mr Carson thought he was not meant to appear at court for another two days and his wife, Pauline, told the inquest he was stressed about getting to Peterborough on time.
But she said he was relieved that he would finally be able to put forward his side.
His car, however, was travelling in the opposite direction to Peterborough, towards Newmarket, when it crashed.
There was no evidence of any other vehicle being involved in the crash or of him speeding, according to collision investigator PC Sean Redman and no defects were found with the vehicle.
There were also no signs of Mr Carson trying to steer the car back on to the road, he added.
The road was clear and driving conditions were good, he said.
Mr Carson, meanwhile, who was wearing a seat belt, had not taken any drink or drugs and there was no evidence he suffered a medical episode.
Assistant Coroner Simon Milburn concluded Mr Carson deliberately drove into the tree and therefore took his own life.
The charges Mr Carson was due to face were from his time as a coach and scout in Peterborough and Cambridge.
But this newspaper revealed earlier this year that he was also accused of abuse during his time at Norwich City in the 1980s.
More than 60 complaints were made to police from 2016 onwards.