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Man charged over Portland hairdressing murders dies while on bail


The man charged but never tried over the horrific murder of two women – including his wife – 25 years ago has died but did not make any deathbed confession.

Margaret Penny, 58, and her hairdresser Claire Acocks were found beaten and stabbed to death at the Portland hair salon in western Victoria in 1991.

Last year, Mrs Penny’s husband Robert Penny was charged with the cold case murders.

But friends and family – including the 83-year-old’s children – are still searching for answers after Penny died on Saturday night.

He had been released on bail due to his ill health.

His Lawyer has told the The Age his client was innocent and the true perpetrator is possibly still out there.

When the charges were laid last year – police revealed they had new evidence – including a phone intercept.

It’s hoped a new coronial inquest will be held so that evidence can be heard in full.