Belfast Telegraph

Monday 20 October 2014

Footballer released early in error

Ex-Manchester City youth player Courtney Meppen-Walter who was jailed for causing the death of a brother and sister

An inquiry is under way after it emerged a footballer who killed two people in a car crash was released from jail by mistake.

Ex-Manchester City youth player and England under-18 captain Courtney Meppen-Walter walked free from prison, just a quarter of the way into a 16-month sentence.

Greater Manchester Police has been informed by the Prison Service of the gaffe and efforts are being made to return the 18-year-old to custody.

Earlier, the widow of one of Meppen-Walter's victims said she was "devastated" to learn that the footballer was at liberty.

A Prison Service spokesman said: "Police have been informed after a prisoner was released in error on Monday July 1 to ensure he is promptly returned to custody.

"Releases in error are very rare and we take any incident extremely seriously. An investigation will take place into the circumstances that led to this release."

Meppen-Walter wept in court when he was jailed at Manchester Crown Court on February 28. The sentencing judge said he would serve half his sentence in custody but might be released earlier on an electronic tag.

The footballer was at the wheel of his grandfather's "high-powered" Mercedes C220 saloon and doing nearly double the 30mph speed limit when he hit a Nissan Micra emerging from a side street.

The Nissan driver, Kulwant Singh, 32, from Salford, and his sister, front-seat passenger Ravel Kaur, 37, from Cheetham Hill, Manchester, were both killed.

Moments earlier, the defendant had been "jockeying" and "playing games" with a friend in a VW Golf along a nearby dual carriageway, Manchester Crown Court heard.

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