A man has gone on trial in connection with the death of Sydney prostitute Donna Anne Hicks more than 16 years after she died.
The NSW Supreme Court has been told that advances in scientific forensic investigation have provided crucial evidence in getting the cold case to trial.
Bandali Michael Debs, 58, is on trial for the murder of Ms Hicks, a 34-year-old mother of three, whose naked body was found lying in a driveway in Minchinbury in Sydney's west in April 1995.
He has pleaded not guilty.
Crown prosecutor Pat Barrett told the court that Ms Hicks died from a gun shot to the face, fired from between five and 30 centimetres away, and that she was found lying in a pool of blood, wearing nothing but a black dog collar.
The night before, Ms Hicks was allegedly picked up outside the Minchinbury fruit barn on the Great Western Highway by someone driving a late model four-wheel-drive.
Ms Hicks allegedly told the man she was with, Ronald Zanker, that she would be back in half an hour.
It was the last time Mr Zanker saw her alive.
"There was a considerable investigation carried out by police for a long period of time to no avail," Mr Barrett said.
"Subsequent to her death ... the adoption of new scientific methods was able to provide important pieces of evidence in this trial."
The trial continues.