Manchester City youth player admits causing deaths of his brother and sister by careless driving


A Manchester City youth player has admitted causing the deaths of a brother and sister by careless driving.

Courtney Meppen-Walter, 18, was arrested in September after his Mercedes was involved in a crash with a Nissan Micra in Manchester.

The Nissan driver, Kulwant Singh, 32, from Salford, and his sister, front seat passenger Ravel Kaur, 37, from Cheetham Hill, died.

Ms Kaur's two sons, aged 16 and 17, were sitting in the back of the car and were injured in the crash on the evening of September 1 on Great Ducie Street.

Meppen-Walter, of Middleton Road, Blackley, admitted the charges at Manchester Magistrates' Court today.

He was told by magistrates his case was too serious for them to sentence him, and he will be sentenced by a judge at Manchester Crown Court on February 28.

Meppen-Walter left court with his lawyer following the 45-minute hearing without answering any questions.

Wearing a black felt jacket and black jeans, the footballer sat in the glass-fronted dock to hear the arguments about where he should be sentenced.

Mark Kellet, prosecuting, told the bench how the footballer was speeding in a 30mph zone when the accident happened.

He said police investigators found he was travelling at an average of 56mph in the period just before he ploughed into the Micra.

The court heard how the car was emerging from a side street and Meppen-Walter made an attempt to swerve around it.

The two people who died were in the front seats.

Mr Kellet conceded that Meppen-Walter stayed at the scene of the crash and described how witnesses said he was distressed and showed remorse.

The collision happened at about 10.15pm at the junction between Great Ducie Street and Sherborne Street.

Gwyn Lewis, defending, said his client was an inexperienced driver and speeding was the main factor in the careless driving.

He said it was a lapse of "a few seconds" but "the consequences are enormous".

He said Meppen-Walter pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and "accepted his responsibility for this incident".

Mr Lewis asked for the defendant to be sentenced by the magistrates but they refused.

Chairman of the bench Peter O'Keefe said: "We do believe this is not suitable for the magistrates court. We consider your driving in this instance fell not far short of dangerous driving."

Mr O'Keefe said the fact that two people were injured as well as two people dying was an aggravating factor in the case.

Meppen-Walter was given an interim driving ban.

The court heard the player is also facing another speeding allegation.

He was stopped driving at 54mph in a 30mph area in Bury, Greater Manchester, last year. Magistrates were told he had indicated he intends to admit this offence.

Greater Manchester Police said it would not comment on the case until after sentencing. A spokesman said Ms Kaur's two teenage sons, who were injured in the crash, are now making a good recovery.

None of the families of the victims were in court.

The Bury-born defender has been at the Premier League club since 2003 and has represented England at under-17 level.


Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'