Former Man City youth player and Chorley FC defender Courtney Meppen-Walter banned from roads after drink drive offence

Courtney Meppen-Walter
Courtney Meppen-Walter
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Chorley FC defender Courtney Meppen-Walter has been banned from the roads for 22 months after he was caught drink-driving.

Meppen-Walter, 24, told magistrates he was "embarrassed" by the driving offence.

Courtney Meppen-Walter in action for Chorley

Courtney Meppen-Walter in action for Chorley

The former Manchester City youth player was stopped by police in Manchester city last month and found to be twice the legal drink-drive limit.

In 2013 he was sent to prison for 16 months for causing the deaths of Kulwant Singh, 32, from Salford, and his sister, Ravel Kaur, 37, by careless driving when he hit their Nissan Micra in his grandfather's high-powered Mercedes C220 saloon in September 2012.

Moments earlier, the then 18-year-old had been "jockeying" and "playing games" with a friend in a Volkswagen Golf along a nearby dual carriageway before he travelled at nearly double the 30mph speed limit and hit the Nissan as it emerged from a side street in Manchester.

He was released from Manchester City upon his conviction, but after his release and spells at Carlisle and Ashton United he was signed by Chorley FC in 2016. He left for Stockport County and Glossop North End before returning for his second spell at Victory Park in 2018.

But on Wednesday Meppen-Walter was back in court for the drink-driving offence committed in the early hours of December 10.

Meppen-Walter had met friends at the city's Christmas markets and intended to have just one drink but consumed several, Manchester Magistrates' Court heard.

CCTV operators later alerted mobile officers on patrol when the defendant's Kia Picanto was seen swerving in the road.

The vehicle appeared to hit a kerb and was stalled at a red light in Great Bridgewater Street when a police constable approached, the court heard.

Risha Seth, prosecuting, said the officer stated he had to take Meppen-Walter from the car because he would not get out and then needed the assistance of two passers-by as he restrained him to the ground.

Ms Seth said the officer thought the defendant was drunk.

Meppen-Walter was arrested and taken to a police station where he gave a positive reading of 85 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit being 35mcg.

The court was told that father-of-one Meppen-Walter - who pleaded guilty last month - agreed with the evidence of the case but claimed he did not resist arrest as described.

A pre-sentence probation reported noted his drink-driving reflected "poor judgment" when considering his previous conviction and that "again he has failed to consider the consequences of his actions".

Caitriona McLaughlin, defending, said: "The most significant mitigation in this case is his genuine remorse which has been reflected throughout. He is truly sorry for his actions.

"It was a mistake and it is the one and only drink mistake on his record."

The court heard that alcohol played no part in the killing of Mr Singh and Ms Kaur who had come to the UK from Afghanistan in 2001 to start a new life after fleeing persecution by the Taliban.

Before passing sentence, chairwoman of the bench Margaret Hutchinson asked Meppen-Walter if he wanted to say anything about the current case.

He replied: "I know what you are probably thinking and what everyone else is thinking. I will probably get called every named under the sun and I deserve it. I'm just embarrassed."

Mrs Hutchinson said: "We hope this will be a lesson to you and we will not see you in court again.

"Drink-driving is a very serious matter and the consequences could have been much graver than today."

Meppen-Walter, of Heywood, must also serve a 12-month community order, complete 80 hours of unpaid work and pay court costs totalling £170.

He indicated he wanted to take a drink-drive awareness course which would reduce his ban by 22 weeks.

The Lancashire Post have approached Chorley FC for comment and are awaiting a response.

Meppen-Walter has featured for Chorley in recent weeks with manager Jamie Vermiglio stating last month that the club would stand by the defender.

He told the Chorley Guardian: “There was a lot of discussion around Courtney with the board of directors and we have made the decision that we are not going to terminate his contract we are going to support him.

“We know opinions will be split on it but I am happy to talk to anyone who wants to have a conversation about it.”