Neil Shipperley: Former Premier League footballer who masturbated at teenager in street avoids jail

‘His aim was to intimidate us, to violate us, to shock us and to scare us,’ says victim

Chiara Giordano
Thursday 19 December 2019 01:05
Neil Shipperley- Ex Premier League footballer who publicly masturbated at teenage girl avoids jail

A former Premier League footballer who masturbated in front of a mother and her teenage daughter as they walked along a street has avoided jail.

Neil Shipperley, 45, who played as a striker for Chelsea, Southampton and Crystal Palace, was branded a “predator” by his victims after admitting he exposed his genitals through the window of his van in west London.

A court heard how Shipperley drove his van up to the mother and her 16-year-old daughter before winding down his window and stopping the vehicle during the incident in Hayes on 17 September.

Thinking he was stopping to let them cross the road, the pair turned to thank him but then “noticed he was holding his penis in his hand and staring directly at them”.

They walked away from the van, but Shipperley followed in the vehicle as far as a set of traffic lights, Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court heard on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Shaan Sethi told the court: “He continued to stare at the two women this time while masturbating,” adding that the pair tried to take a photo of his number plate.

He added: “While the mother was on the phone to the police...they saw the defendant had parked himself between two buses further down the street, again staring at the two while masturbating.”

Shipperley later encountered the mother and daughter again when he voluntarily arrived at a police station and apologised, the court was told.

In a victim impact statement the mother said: “Some people may see flashers as pests or a nuisance to society, my view of Neil Shipperley is as a predator.

“His aim was to intimidate us, to violate us, to shock us and to scare us.”

Ex-Crystal Palace striker, Neil Shipperley, 45, leaves Uxbridge Magistrates' Court, west London, where he was given a community order after exposing himself and masturbating in front of a mother and her teenage daughter, 18 December, 2019. (Kirsty Connor/PA)

She added: “My 16-year-old daughter was horrified and kept asking me ‘mum what would have happened if I was on my own and you weren’t with me’.”

In her statement, the woman claimed Shipperley told her at the police station that if someone had done what he did to his own son “he would want to kill them”.

At his first court appearance last month, the ex-footballer pleaded guilty to a charge of intentionally exposing his genitals intending that someone would see them and be caused alarm or distress.

Mitigating for Shipperley, Sarah O’Kane said: “He has expressed anguish, embarrassment, shame, but above all remorse.”

“He is in short appalled by his actions and he wishes to apologise unreservedly to the complaint in this case.”

She explained Shipperley had sought counselling and had been dealing with personal issues including the death of his father, gambling and debts.

“Everything came to a crescendo on the day in question,” she said. “This was, he thinks on reflection, a cry for help.”

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Shipperley, of West Drayton, west London, spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth, address and British nationality during Wednesday’s court hearing.

The former footballer, who also played for Nottingham Forest and Southampton during his career, and has no previous convictions, was ordered to complete a 12-month community order, which includes a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

He must also complete 120 hours’ unpaid work and pay a £90 victim surcharge, £85 in costs and £200 in compensation.

He is subject to a five-year sexual offences notification requirement order and must report to Hayes police station within three days.

Additional reporting by Press Association.

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