A shamed former Premier League football star told police he “had a problem” after flashing in front of a mum and her teenage daughter, a court heard.
Neil Shipperley, who played as a striker for Chelsea, Southampton, Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United during a glittering top flight career, admitted staring at the two women from his white van with his manhood out.
Shipperley, now 44, handed himself in at his local police station just as his “shocked and violated” victims were reporting him, the court was told.
Standing in the dock at Uxbridge Magistrates Court wearing a light grey suit, Shipperley pleaded guilty to a charge of intentionally exposing his genitals intending that someone would see them and be caused alarm or distress.
Shipperley, who also played at League level for Watford, Barnsley, Wimbledon and Brentford and received seven England Under 21 caps, scoring three goals, spoke only to enter his guilty plea and to confirm his name, date of birth, and address.
The court heard that Shipperley, of West Drayton, north west London, was on his “usual route” in his white Transit van in Station Road, Hayes, west London, when the incident happened on Tuesday September 17th this year.
Taranjit Rai, prosecuting, said: “On that day at about 5.15pm there were two victims – a mother and a daughter, and the daughter was 16.
“The defendant was driving along at the same pace as them as they were walking along on the road. He was in his white Transit van.
“He stopped his van outside a cycle shop and wound down his window. They thought that he let them go across the road.
“The victim turned around to say thank you and at this point she looked down at the window and saw that he was holding his penis and looking at her face.
“The defendant followed them up the road and stopped by the traffic lights. This time the defendant wound down the window and proceeded to masturbate.
“The victim and the mother tried to take the defendant’s number plate.
“That was the point that he drove off towards Hayes station.”
Moments later the mother again saw Shipperley who was “still staring at her and her daughter” and still performing a solo sex act, the court heard.
The victims then went to the local police station to report Shipperley when he again appeared.
This time he confessed to what he had done and said “sorry,” the court heard.
Mr Rai added: “He apologised for what he had done and admitted he had a problem which is why he had gone to the police station.
“He said ‘it was totally unacceptable and, I have to say for the record, I did not know she was a kid.”
The mother said that she and her daughter felt “violated” in a statement read to the court.
Reading the mum’s statement, Mr Rai said: “I was really shocked and angry.
“It was disgusting, I was not willing to let my daughter go through this.
“How can he think he has the power to do this to females. Me and my daughter feel violated.”
Sarah O’Kane, in mitigation for Shipperley, told the court that the former footballer had felt “remorse and anguish” for his actions, and begged them not to send him to prison.
The court also heard he hoped to coach an under 15s football squad, something he may not now be allowed to do.
She said: “Mr Shipperley has lost his good character as a result of his guilty plea.
“He handed himself into the police and at a time shortly after the offence.
“He is full of remorse and anguish, he has lost his good character, and there are implications over and above that for his prospects of engaging in what he was proposing to do.
“The impact on him opposed to others is perhaps greater.”
She also said her client may contest the fact that he was performing a sex act.
Chairman of the bench Michelle O’Keeffe (CORR) agreed to adjourn Shipperley’s sentencing for a probation report to be made, saying she agreed that is was “an unusual case.”
Shipperley, who was accompanied in court by a blonde woman, was bailed to return to Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court for sentencing next month.