Paul, known as ‘Goose’ to colleagues, covered the Falklands conflict while serving as the Gazette’s military correspondent, and also worked as crime reporter and chief reporter.
The last decade of his career were spent as crown court correspondent, principally covering trials at Chelmsford Crown Court, before retiring two years ago due to ill-health.
Judge Charles Gratwicke, head of Chelmsford Crown Court, said: “It was a pleasure to have him in court. I always felt secure he would be discreet and accurate. He would report matters without sensationalism.
“This court has always been blessed by a superb press bench and no doubt they feel one of their stars has been taken from them. On behalf of this court I would like to express my condolences to the press in general and to his family.”
Paul was born in Aberdeen but moved to Glasgow as a child. His father, Albert, was a journalist on papers including Melody Maker and The Herald, Glasgow, before joining the PR department at British Rail.
He began his career at the East Kilbride News and Rutherglen Reformer before heading south to Essex in 1978 when he was 23, initially working for the East Anglian Daily Times at its Colchester office before moving to the Gazette.
Andy Totham, a lifelong friend who worked with him at the Gazette, said: “Goose was a true pro. A really good, old-fashioned journalist. He could file a story bang on deadline time – tight, precise and accurate.
“He didn’t waste words. He always said an opening paragraph should never be more than ten words and lived up to that. He was loyal to his friends and his quirky sense of humour and dodgy limericks knew no bounds.”
Away from journalism, Paul had an avid interest in railway and military history, and was a keen snooker player.
He is survived by mother Una and sister Adrienne, and his funeral will take place at Colchester Crematorium on 11 April at 3.30pm.