Ashley Podsiad-Sharp: Ex-prison officer from Barnsley jailed for possessing ‘white supremacist murder manual’
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A former prison officer who recruited disillusioned white men to a racist organisation “masquerading” as a sports club has been handed a 13-year sentence for possessing a “white supremacist murder manual”.
Self-confessed neo-Nazi Ashley Podsiad-Sharp, 42, was found guilty of possessing terrorist material after a document called the White Resistance Manual was found on his computer by counter-terrorism police officers.
Sheffield Crown Court heard the manual contained information about how to kill people, use various weapons, build bombs and evade detection by police.
Jurors were told it opened with a white supremacist mantra, calling for armed resistance to the “threat to the white race” from Jews and non-white people.
The court heard Podsiad-Sharp was the founder of the White Stag Athletics Club, which The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Jeremy Richardson KC, described as “a cauldron of self-absorbed neo-Nazism masquerading as a low-grade, all-male sports club”.
The judge told Podsiad-Sharp the club “sought to camouflage your real purpose – to incite violence against those you hated” and that the terrorist manual played an integral part.
The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Jeremy Richardson KC
“I have no doubt whatsoever you harboured terrorist intentions and your motivation was terrorism."
Judge Richardson said “it was necessary to be a racist” to join the club and that potential members were asked if they were homosexual, mixed race or had Jewish or Muslim heritage as part of the vetting procedure.
The court heard the 200-page document said “democracy will be cast aside and votes will now be cast with bullets and bombs” before setting out “various mechanisms for armed struggle”.
Podsiad-Sharp, who lives in the Barnsley area of South Yorkshire and worked as an officer at Leeds Prison at the time of the offence, told the jury he was not aware the White Resistance Manual was on his computer, had not read it and had not understood what it was.
The judge told him: “I have no doubt whatsoever you harboured terrorist intentions and your motivation was terrorism.
“I doubt you would have perpetrated this yourself, although I can’t be sure, you may have been so overwhelmed by hatred you would in time have committed a terrorist act.”
Judge Richardson said the defendant was “inciting hatred” and “encouraging acts of violence” among the “ignorant and disillusioned men” he had recruited.
“I have little to no doubt one or more of those individuals would have indulged in violence towards a minority group that you, and they, hated,” he said.
Judge Richardson said he would send his sentencing remarks to the Secretary of State for Justice, telling the defendant: “I have absolutely no doubt that a man with the perverted and extremely dangerous views you hold should never be employed in the responsible position you held as a prison officer.”
He added: “I have no idea what, if any, vetting was undertaken by the prison service.
“Although the crime was not committed in prison, I regard the fact you were a prison officer to be a very serious matter.
“You had contact with young white men who were vulnerable and disadvantaged and may have been ripe for selection by you had the situation presented itself.”
In mitigation, Peter Eguae said there was no evidence the manual had been accessed by Podsiad-Sharp “for a significant period of time”.
Podsiad-Sharp was sentenced to 13 years in prison – a custodial term of eight years and an extension period of five years.