In today's Gazette: A blackmailer who forced a wealthy businessman to hand over £630,000 has been jailed for 11 years.

Anthony Still, 52, of St John's Road, Clacton, demanded money after threatening to expose the man's sex secret involving a teenage rent boy.

Jailing Still, Judge charles Gratwicke described him as evil, wicked and heartless.

* A driver fleeing a crash in Mersea Road, Colchester, was caught by a police officer after a passerby lent him their bicycle.

The busy road was shut for more than four hours yesterday after a ford Transit pick-up truck hit two garden walls. Three other vehicles were also damaged.

* Police have launched an investigation after wedding couples claimed they had been left out of pocket.

* A ward for elderly patients with severe mental health problems is to be axed.

North Essex Mental Health Partnership plans to close McIntyre ward at Clacton Hospital's Landermere centre.

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