‘Predator’: Football star’s public sex act
Former Premier League striker Neil Shipperley was branded a "predator" today after he flashed a mum and her teenage daughter.
The former Chelsea and Crystal Palace star admitted staring at the two women from his white van with his manhood out and performing a sex act.
Shipperley, 45, was spared jail after Uxbridge Magistrates Court heard his crime was a "cry for help".
The court was told the fallen star has been battling a string of personal and financial problems, plus coping with the end of his football career.
Prosecutor Shaan Sethi told the court the two women were walking through west London when Shipperley pulled up next to them in his van and wound down his window.
They believed he was letting them cross the road but as one of them turned to thank him she saw him holding his penis.
Shipperley continued to follow them and was performing a solo sex act, the court was told.
While the mother phoned the police she noticed he had parked further up the street between two buses and was still performing the act.
"Some people say they may see flashers as pests or nuisances, but my idea of Neil Shipperley is a predator," the mother said in a statement.
"His aim was to intimidate us isolate us and shock us. We were shaken, disgusted and appalled by his actions.
"If someone had done this to his son he would want to kill them. That's what he said to me at the police station."
In a separate statement, her daughter said: "After the incident I felt as though I was a victim.
"I was scared, anxious and felt vulnerable.
"I worry now what would have happened if my mum wasn't there."
In November, the ex-footballer pleaded guilty to a charge of intentionally exposing his genitalia intending that someone would see them and be caused alarm or distress.
The court was told that Shipperley was dealing with a number of issues including the death of his father.
He was also struggling to adapt to a new way of life following the end of his football career and had issues with gambling which he had sought help for.
Shipperley was handed a 12 month community order, requiring him to complete 20 days of rehabilitation.
He was also ordered to pay AU$382 compensation and complete 120 hours of unpaid work.
"We do find that it would be proper to place it into a community order level rather than a custodial order," Chairman of the bench Sheila Evans told Shipperley.
"However, we would have been perfectly within out right if there were other factors that gave us concern to give you a custodial sentence."
This article was originally published by The Sun and republished with permission