UK & World News
Man City Player Jailed Over Death Crash
Manchester City player Courtney Meppen-Walter has been jailed for 16 months for killing a brother and sister while speeding in his Mercedes.
Kulwant Singh, 32, and Ravel-Kaur Singh, 37, died when the Nissan Micra they were driving was hit by the 18-year-old footballer's car.
At Manchester Crown Court, Judge Martin Steiger QC told the former England U-18 captain: "This, as offences go, was in the most serious category for causing death by careless driving.
"There were also a number of aggravating factors."
Mr Singh and his sister had been in the front seats of the car when it collided with Meppen-Walter's Mercedes on Bury New Road in central Manchester in September last year.
Ms Singh's two sons, Amjit, 16 and Harveen, 17, who were in the back of the Micra and were injured in the collision, have been said by police to be "making a good recovery". Amjit was only released from hospital earlier this month.
The two teenagers are now orphans after their father was killed in Afghanistan.
The court heard that Meppen-Walter had been out with friends at a shisha cafe in Manchester when they decided to go to a nightclub.
Witnesses reported seeing the footballer's Mercedes and a grey VW Golf driving erratically before the collision.
Saleem Mirza said he saw the two cars accelerating and braking while changing lanes, although he said the cars did not appear to be racing.
Accident investigators and the Mercedes' engine management unit both estimated the car was travelling at 56mph when the collision occurred. The speed limit is 30mph.
Meppen-Walter initially put on the brakes, but then decided to accelerate and try to swerve round Mr Singh's car.
Had he been travelling at 30mph, or had remained driving straight and maintained his braking, the court heard that the collision would have been avoided.
After the impact he remained at the scene, Mr Mirza described him as being extremely distraught, waving his arms around and saying: "What have I done?"
At one stage Meppen-Walter saw a child seat in the back of the Micra, and said: "There's a baby, there's a baby."
Prosecuting, Mark Kellet said that Meppen-Walter had only one previous conviction.
He was given a six-point endorsement on his licence and fined £75 for speeding in Bury in March 2012.
On that occasion he was again travelling at 56mph in a 30mph zone.
During the proceedings, throughout which the footballer cried openly in the dock, an impact statement from Mr Singh's wife, Kushwant Kaur, was read out.
It said: "My life is destroyed after the collision. It feels like our whole world is finished. We were planning our future together for our children, and now that's impossible."
Meppen-Walter has yet to play for Manchester City's first team since joining them as a junior in 2003.
But he has been on the bench for two Champions League matches. He also played 17 times for and captained England U-18s.