In today's Gazette: First time buyers will getl a helping hand on to the property ladder thanks to Essex County Council.

The authority wants to act as a guarantor for 6,000 house-hunters so they will only have to find five per cent of a 25 per cent deposit.

* A hairdresser's mannequin head sparked a 999 alert when a cleaner mistook it for a body.

Paramedics raced to Milton Road, Dovercourt, after the car park worker reporter what he thought was someone lying lifeless in the back of a Mini.

* A mum says her teenage son is traumatised after he was attacked and threatened with a knife in Castle Park, Colchester.

Thomas Versey, 17, was walking through the park when he was knocked to the ground by two men. They kicked the Colchester Institute student and threatened him with a knife.

* Butchers in Colchester are enjoying record sales because of the horse meat scandal.

Shoppers are turning their backs on supermarkets and turning back to butchers.

For more on these and other great stories, see today's Gazette. There is always more in the paper than there is online.