A former prison guard branded a “racist, homophobic neo-Nazi” has been found guilty of possession of a terrorist handbook.
Ashley Podsiad-Sharp, 42, was convicted Thursday after a jury learned he had saved a copy of the White Resistance Manual on his computer.
The document “described the ways in which terrorists could kill, maim and attempt to evade detection”.
Podsiad-Sharp was also accused of distributing a terrorist publication concerning the posting of a link on a Telegram channel for members of the White Stag Athletics Club he founded, calling itself “Sarge”.
The link was to the music of Mr Bond, a rapper jailed in Austria for releasing versions of popular songs with far-right racist lyrics overlaid on them.
Prosecutors pointed out that one of those songs, a version of the song “Power Level,” was played by killer Stephan Balliet when he live-streamed the 2019 Halle synagogue shooting in Germany.
Nevertheless, Podsiad-Sharp, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, was acquitted of those charges at Sheffield Crown Court on Friday.
He argued that the songs were comedic parodies intended to shock and not promote terrorism.
Judge Jeremy Richardson KC declined to set bail for Podsiad-Sharp because he was a flight risk.
Addressing the accused directly, he said, “You are married to a Polish national.” You are an intelligent man and a resourceful man.
“There are real risks, so it seems to me that you could leave the jurisdiction of this country.”
The judge continued, “You have been convicted by the jury of a very serious offense.” In fact, it is a terrorism-related offense.
“In such a case there is only one penalty, and that is imprisonment.” Now I have to decide how long the sentence should be.’
Mr. Richardson stressed how detailed the White Resistance Manual was, saying the printed version he received was two inches thick.
He wants the parole board to consider whether Podsiad-Sharp is considered a “dangerous offender” before his July 21 sentencing. Until then, he remains in custody.
When the jury acquitted Podsiad-Sharp of the final charge, he thanked them and shouted “Tell my wife I love her” as he exited the dock.
During the trial, prosecutor Denise Breen-Lawton told the court that the White Resistance Manual was “clearly a terrorist manual” that uses a mantra of white supremacists to call for armed resistance to “threats to the white race” by Jews and others who are not white.
Podsiad-Sharp, who used to work at Leeds prison but is now a lorry driver, tried to claim he didn’t know the document was on his computer and had neither read it nor understood what it was.
But Ms Breen-Lawton said this was “complete nonsense” as it was stored securely in an encrypted “virtual safe” protected by passwords which the accused eventually gave to police on the orders of a judge.
She said it was also copied to another hard drive and uploaded to file-sharing site Dropbox.
Opening the case earlier this month, Ms Breen-Lawton said: “Podsiad-Sharp glorifies and idolizes Adolf Hitler and all that the Nazi movement stood for and still stands for.”
People who wanted to join the Podsiad-Sharp White Stag Athletics Club were screened with a questionnaire asking “What do you think happened in the Holocaust?” and “How do you envision the victory?”
Podsiad-Sharp told the jury he was “Christian and a Nazi”, described himself as a “racial realist” and said “multiculturalism is no good”.
When asked about the Holocaust, the defendant said he was a “revisionist and does not accept the orthodox position” and said that “there is very little evidence of the Holocaust.”
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