Death crash footballer Courtney Meppen-Walter freed in error

Courtney Meppen-Walter
Image caption Meppen-Walter admitted causing death by careless driving

An ex-Manchester City footballer jailed for killing two people in a car crash was released from prison early by mistake, the Prison Service said.

Courtney Meppen-Walter, 18, was jailed for 16 months for causing the deaths of brother and sister Kulwant Singh and Ravel Kaur in September.

Their relatives welcomed his return to jail but said it was "further anguish and trauma".

He will be returned to prison after the Prison Service admitted its error.

Meppen-Walter admitted causing death by careless driving at Manchester Crown Court and was jailed on 28 February. He has served a quarter of his sentence.

Release errors 'rare'

A spokesman said: "Police have been informed after a prisoner was released in error on Monday 1 July 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."

A statement issued by the victims' family issued prior to the admission of the player's release error, said they were "devastated" by the decision.

At his sentencing, the court heard Meppen-Walter was driving at up to twice the 30mph limit in central Manchester at the time of the crash.

Image caption Kulwant Singh and Ravel Kaur were killed in the crash in September

The sentencing judge said he would serve half his sentence in custody, but might be released earlier on an electronic tag.

He was also banned from driving for three years.

Meppen-Walter, of Middleton Road, Blackley, has not played for Manchester City's first team but has captained the England under-18 squad.

The court was told Mr Singh, 32, and Mrs Kaur, 37, had been sitting in the front of a Nissan Micra when it was struck by a Mercedes C220 saloon driven by Meppen-Walter, owned by his grandfather, at 22:15 BST on 1 September.

They had been emerging from a side street when the crash happened, at the junction of Great Ducie Street and Sherborne Street.

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