Kit Carson died of traumatic brain injury, inquest hears

A former youth football coach and scout whose car crashed into a tree on the day he was due to go on trial over historical sexual abuse charges died of a traumatic brain injury, an inquest has heard.

Michael “Kit” Carson, 75, had denied 12 counts of indecent assault and one of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. The allegations involved 11 boys under the age of 16, covering the period between 1978 and 2009.

Kit Carson

Carson’s trial was listed to begin at Peterborough crown court on 7 January, but he died in a single-vehicle crash that morning.

Cambridgeshire’s senior coroner, David Heming, opening and adjourning an inquest in Huntingdon on Tuesday, said Carson was the driver of a Mazda 3 car that crashed off the A1303 at Bottisham, about seven miles east of Cambridge.

“The circumstances as presently known are that the vehicle left the carriageway on to a wide grass verge and collided with a tree,” said Heming. “Mr Carson suffered fatal injuries. The cause of death provided by the postmortem examination is a traumatic brain injury.”

The A1303 road in Cambridgeshire
 The site on the A1303 in Cambridgeshire where a red Mazda 3 driven by Carson collided with a tree. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA

Carson died at the scene, with no other vehicles or people involved. The section of rural single-carriageway road where the collision took place is straight and has a 60mph speed limit. The crash took place about 15 minutes before the trial was due to begin 40 miles away.

“It’s clear that there are further investigations to be done by Cambridgeshire police concerning the circumstances of the accident,” Heming said.

“In addition, it’s routine in these types of investigations for samples to be sent for toxicological analysis, and results of these specialist examinations of blood normally take approximately six weeks.”

Carson, of Cambridge, had worked at Norwich City, Peterborough United and Cambridge United. He is credited with launching the careers of a string of star players.

He was on bail at the time of his death. According to the particulars of the offences of which he was accused, the first alleged indecent assault happened at a hotel in the north of England, while most of the others took place in and around Peterborough.

The incitement offence allegedly happened between February 2008 and February 2009 in Cambridge. This is said to have involved Carson showing the complainant images of scantily clad women while the boy exercised.

No further details of the allegations against Carson were given in court. However, during an investigation by the Guardian before his arrest, former players claimed:

  • They were touched intimately by Carson.
  • They were routinely made to strip and exercise so their muscular development could be examined in the UK and while on trips abroad.
  • They were instructed to wrestle in muddy puddles just in underwear with each other, told to swim naked or massage each other with oil.

Carson was the Peterborough United academy director from 1993 until 2001, and a number of players he coached there went on to have careers in the Premier League.

The hearing was adjourned until 18 June for a full inquest.

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