Mom’s fear after daughter shot dead in glamping tent: ‘No day will ever be the same’

Marlene Parrott finds it difficult when her friends tell stories about her daughters’ lives.

She enjoys hearing them, but she has no new photos to show or stories to tell.

A life of pain and suffering was inflicted on Parrott when her 29-year-old daughter Maddison Jane was murdered in Geelong in December 2018.

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Four years later, Christmas remains a difficult time.

Maddison was supposed to dress up as Santa’s helper and join her dad in setting up the Christmas tree in the special way they had.

Cheese boards and champagne glasses with family friends are different, and she’s no longer there for walks on the beach with friends and her dogs.

The tent was set on fire after Maddison was killed. Recognition: 7NEWS

Her own dogs are still waiting outside the door for her to come home.

Her killer, Nicholas James Cross, 35, faced a pre-sentencing hearing in Geelong on Friday after a Victorian Supreme Court judge found him guilty of murder.

“Mr Cross maintains his innocence,” his attorney Glenn Casement said.

It’s not an aggravating feature of the crime that Cross still blames someone else for the crime, he said, adding that it supports the point that Cross is “absolutely ruthless.”

Cross fatally shot Maddison in the forehead on the morning of December 3, 2018 with a rifle held at point-blank range in a glamping tent at the Geelong Showgrounds.

There is no motive for the killing, recalled Judge Rita Incerti, who heard Cross’s trial through the judge alone.

Cross then contacted Maddison’s partner and apparently apologized, prosecutor David Glynn said.

Maddison Parrott was murdered in the tent. Recognition: 7NEWS

“The apology was … along the lines of ‘sorry I just killed your girlfriend,’ which is a bit different than anything that actually approaches regret,” he said.

“And if Mr. Cross did feel regret at that moment, he got over it pretty quickly.”

Cross then set fire to the tent to cover his tracks, incinerating Maddison’s body inside.

He then tried to frame the crime on her boyfriend, but the next day he texted a friend saying, “If they catch me, I’ll do 10 yr mins.”

Marlene Parrott said her life fell apart the day Maddison died.

“No day will be the same without my beautiful daughter,” she said in a statement read in court. She signed it with “Love mama”.

Dale Parrott kisses a picture of daughter Maddison every day.

Nicholas cross. Recognition: 7NEWS

“My advisor says time will heal. I don’t think so,” he said.

In a letter cremated with Maddison, her best friend thanked her for a true and eternal friendship, for school holidays together and for telling her that sometimes boys aren’t worth her time.

“Thank you for being you,” she wrote of the girl, who has been like a sister since she was 12.

Casement said Cross had a childhood marked by substance abuse and domestic violence, but he was unwilling to divulge details in court.

He said it was in the interests of justice to rehabilitate Cross, which in turn would protect the community.

“The hope and expectation of our system is that he comes out (of prison) a reformed man,” he said.

Cross will be sentenced at a later date.

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James Brien

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