North East actor who starred in Empire State jailed after 'downward spiral'

Hoganson was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court today.
Hoganson was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court today.

A former actor who clocked up 94 convictions during his fall from grace has been given a chance to turn his life around again.

Jason Hoganson's dreams of movie stardom were shattered by a downward spiral into crime through years of drinking, drug abuse and mental health problems.

The 45-year-old, whose face is criss-crossed with angry scars, starred in the 1988 film Empire State, alongside Irish actor Ray McAnally, Jamie Foreman and US star Martin Landau.

But as his acting career started to take off, his personal life was in tatters and he succumbed to a life of crime.

Hoganson, of Durham Street, Elswick, Newcastle, has convictions for violence, carrying weapons and has served prison sentences.

He was at Newcastle Crown Court after being convicted by jury last month of affray for threatening police officers with a large knife.

The officers had come to his home last September with a warrant to search for stolen goods, which were never found, and Hoganson armed himself with a large knife during an angry confrontation.

He could have faced up to three years behind bars for threatening to "stab" and "kill" the police during the stand-off.

Judge Deborah Sherwin sentenced him to two years behind bars but suspended the term for two years today.

The judge told Hoganson, who has spent almost seven months in prison on remand: "You are someone who has had a very troubled background.

"You really need as much help and encouragement as you can get."

Nicholas Lane, defending, handed a newspaper cutting to the court about Hoganson's past success.

Mr Lane said: "That was snatched away from him.

"He was led into a cycle of drug and alcohol addiction."

Mr Lane told the court Hoganson has been offered help by a support group, which he is determined to embrace.

He added: "He has lost much of the relationship he would have had with his own children due to his offending behaviour and the time he has spent in custody.

"He is determined he will have a proper relationship with his granddaughter."

It was in 1987 the producers of a low-budget film contacted his drama teacher to say they were looking for Geordie actors.

After auditioning more than 100 teenage hopefuls, he was offered a part in Empire State, a gritty drama set in 1980s London.

He played the role of Geordie drifter Pete, in the movie directed by Ron Peck,which was largely panned by the critics.