A former HMP Armley prison officer, Ashley Podsiad-Sharp from Barnsley, was sentenced to eight years in prison for the possession of a Nazi “murder manual”. The manual, found encrypted on his hard drive, provided detailed instructions on committing acts of violence in a race war. Judge Jeremy Richardson KC, during the sentencing, noted Podsiad-Sharp’s open admiration for Hitler, his denial of the Holocaust, and his discriminatory views against Jewish and gay individuals.
Podsiad-Sharp established the White Stag Athletic Club (WSAC), which Judge Richardson described as a front for promoting neo-Nazi ideologies under the guise of an all-male sports club. Members had to affirm their racist views to join and were vetted based on racial background and sexuality. The judge expressed concerns that members were on a trajectory to commit acts of terrorism.
Counter-terrorism officers, upon inspection of Podsiad-Sharp’s computer, discovered a far-right handbook advocating for violent resistance against perceived threats to the white race. This guide included detailed instructions on weapon creation and planning terror attacks. A search of Podsiad-Sharp’s residence yielded weapons such as a bow and arrows, knife, and axe.
While the defense argued that Podsiad-Sharp never actively endorsed the manual and that his admiration for Hitler did not classify him as a terrorist, Judge Richardson highlighted the integral role the manual played in the defendant’s intention to incite violence. The judge believed Podsiad-Sharp was actively recruiting like-minded individuals and posed a significant threat.
Upon his release, Podsiad-Sharp will face an additional five-year licence period and internet restrictions. After the sentencing, wearing a t-shirt featuring the emblem of Mussolini’s Blackshirts, Podsiad-Sharp addressed his supporters, proclaiming, “Jesus knows the truth.”
Judge Richardson intends to communicate with Justice Secretary Alex Chalk MP concerning Podsiad-Sharp’s employment at HMP Armley, emphasizing the potential influence he might have had over vulnerable inmates. The Prison Service affirmed its commitment to rigorous vetting for potential employees and reiterated its zero-tolerance stance towards extremist views within its ranks.