Probe into pregnant woman’s death
TWO police officers who investigated the death of a woman found on a makeshift weight bench are expected to give evidence to a Melbourne inquest.
Snezana Stojanovska, 26, was found dead on an ironing board propped up on books in the garage of her Preston home in November 2010 while dressed in her nightclothes and wearing gardening gloves.
Her husband Dragi Stojanovski told police he found her with a barbell across her neck.
She was 12 weeks pregnant.
Police suspect Ms Stojanovska's death may have been a homicide staged to look like an accident.
The Coroners Court of Victoria has been told the pattern of bruises on Ms Stojanovska's neck, upper chest, and beneath her chin mean it's more likely she was strangled.
Sports scientist Harry Brennan told the inquest he'd never heard of a situation where a barbell had come to rest on someone's neck.
Had the barbell accidentally fallen, the weight discs most likely would have slid off as they were not attached, he said.
Dr Brennan said the bench press set up was the most unusual he'd seen and would have been uncomfortable.
He also questioned why Ms Stojanovska wasn't wearing gym clothes.
During Wednesday's hearing, the police officer who attended the scene of Ms Stojanovska's death is expected to give evidence.
He will be followed by coronial investigator Detective Senior Constable Scott Riley.
Yesterday, tempers flared when Ms Stojanovska's aunt verbally abused Mr Stojanovski outside court.
State Coroner Judge Sara Hinchey brought a security guard into court and warned both parties to act respectfully.
"I would like to make it quite plain to everyone that all parties have a right to be in court," she said.
Also during the opening of the four-day inquest, forensic pathologist Malcolm Dodd said he did not believe Ms Stojanovska had died in a weightlifting accident.
He said her cause of death was asphyxia and neck compression, most likely caused by strangulation.
"My view was the pattern of bruises … did not fit at all with the story provided that this may have been entrapment by a barbell."
Dr Dodd said he couldn't exclude the possibility she died as a result of a barbell falling on her neck, but thought the resulting injuries made it "extremely unlikely".
During the hearing, five of Ms Stojanovska's family members wept as images were displayed of her body, showing bruising around her neck, upper chest and under her chin.
A neighbour, Harry Higney, told the inquest he heard "echoed shouting" of male and female voices from an empty house next to the Stojanovskas' home, which they also owned.
Mr Stojanovski has been excused from giving evidence during the inquest after telling an earlier hearing his answers may tend to incriminate him.