A killer jailed for trying to groom children online should never have been let out of jail, the mother of his murder victim has said.

Samantha Walker, from Tetbury, had battled illness all her life. In 1994, the girl was murdered in Malmesbury by crazed labourer Barry Wilcox.

He had strangled, bit and burnt her in a secluded paddock – fearing she would return to the party where they had met and tell her friends he had been unable to have sex with her.

A quarter of a century after he was sentenced to life imprisonment for the 21-year-old’s murder, bearded Wilcox was yesterday back in the dock.

He appeared to smirk after a Swindon judge sent him down for 13 months for attempting to get two “girls” – actually so-called paedophile hunters posing as 13 and 14-year-olds online – to perform sex acts on themselves. Wilcox had already been recalled to prison on licence.

Watching on from the public gallery was Samantha’s cousin, Sophie Thomas. Following the hearing, 37-year-old Sophie said: “I wanted to kill him when he had that smirk on his face.”

Swindon Crown Court heard that Wilcox, formerly of Colbourne Street, Swindon, had been released from prison on licence in around 2014 having served 19 years of his life sentence.

He had apparently kept out of trouble until March of this year.

On March 17, he struck up a conversation on social media site Tagged with a profile in the name of “Mollie May”, who described herself in messages as a 14-year-old girl. The profile was in fact operated by a man working with group Time is Up.

Over the course of several days, Wilcox pestered her to perform sexual acts upon herself. He asked her to send sexually explicit images of herself and he in turn sent the profile an image of a naked man.

The second profile with which Wilcox had swapped messages was in the name of Beth Hind. The girl purported to be 13 years old but was in fact a profile operated by group Justice for Tears.

He messaged her on Kik, a mobile chat app commonly used by teenagers. The tone of the messages were highly sexual and he encouraged the girl to touch herself. On the evening of March 17 she told her she was getting ready for bed. Wilcox asked if he could join her, telling her that no one would find out.

Interviewed by police, Wilcox made full and frank admissions to the charges. He told officers he had lost his job and had “probably had a few cans”. He had no plans to meet the girls with whom he had chatted.

Wilcox, 50, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempting to communicate with a child for the purposes of gaining sexual gratification. A charge of causing a child to watch an image of sexual activity was withdrawn by the Crown.

Jailing Wilcox for a total of 13 months, Judge Peter Crabtree said: “These are serious offences in my judgement which pass the custody threshold.”

The murder for which Wilcox received a life sentence had a distinct sexual element to it and was an aggravating feature of the latest charges faced by Wilcox, the judge said.

He added: “It is a worrying factor that despite all the work you have done in prison and since you have been released on licence and the fact you had so much to lose by being on a life licence that you went on to commit the current offences.”

Wilcox was placed on the sex offenders’ register and will be required to notify the police of his address for 10 years after his release.

The mum of Wilcox’s victim Samantha said after the killer appeared in Swindon Magistrates’ Court in September that he should never have been released.

Pat Walker, 74, from Tetbury, said: “He should never have been let out. The things he did to my daughter were unbelievable. He’s evil.

“He should be put away for life – and life should mean life.

“It should have meant life before when he killed my daughter.”

Then Justice Secretary Robert Buckland MP said: “This is a despicable case and the people of Swindon should be reassured that I am urgently reviewing sentencing with the Prime Minister to ensure the public are properly protected.”