A PREGNANT Melbourne woman was strangled before her body was found on a makeshift weight bench, a coroner has ruled.

Snezana Stojanovska, 26, was found dead with a barbell across her neck by her husband Dragi Stojanovski in their Preston garage in November 2010.

Victorian State Coroner Sara Hinchey on Thursday found the woman was a victim of homicide and directed the matter be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

An inquest was earlier told Ms Stojanovska, then 12 weeks’ pregnant, was strangled — a proposition Judge Hinchey agreed with — and her death staged to look like a weightlifting accident.

She was found in her pyjamas and a dressing gown.

The coroner on Thursday made no finding of criminality on the part of Mr Stojanovski, who was earlier excused from giving evidence after saying his answers could tend to incriminate him.

His brother, Vasko, also lived at the home and called triple-zero while their mother, Pisana, removed the barbell from Ms Stojanovska’s neck.

“I make no finding as to criminality on the part of Mr Stojanovski, Vasko or Pisana,” Judge Hinchey said, noting they were the only people at the house at the time and that there were no signs of forced entry to the premises.