Man charged with murder of Eastbourne student appears in court

The scene where a woman's body was found in a burning car in Ifield. Picture by Eddie Mitchell SUS-150318-172534001
The scene where a woman's body was found in a burning car in Ifield. Picture by Eddie Mitchell SUS-150318-172534001

A man charged with the murder of Eastbourne student Janet Muller appeared in court this morning (Thursday, March 19).

Christopher Jeffrey-Shaw was arrested by police after Janet’s body was found in the boot of a burning car in Ifield on Friday (March 13).

Dressed in grey tracksuit bottoms and a matching grey jumper, the 26-year-old spoke only to confirm his name and date-of-birth at the hearing held at Guildford Magistrates’ Court this morning.

He was led to the dock in handcuffs and remained emotionless during the brief hearing. He did not enter a plea to the charge of murder and was remanded in custody to appear at Guildford Crown Court this afternoon.

Jeffrey-Shaw, of Lakeside, Beckenham, London, walked into a police station in London at 5am on Tuesday morning (March 17) after police urged him to hand himself in following the discovery of Janet’s body.

Miss Muller had been reported missing from the psychiatric ward of Mill View hospital, in Hove, at around 10pm on Thursday night (March 12).

Her fire-damaged body was discovered in the boot of a Volkswagen Jetta parked in Rusper Road, near Ifield Golf Club less than 24 hours later.

The 21-year-old, who was in the final year of an International Events Management degree at the University of Brighton’s Eastbourne campus, died of smoke inhalation.

A 34-year-old woman from Dulwich, south east London, who was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder, was released on bail to appear in court on March 30.

Anyone with information that could help police with their investigation is urged to contact Sussex Police on 101 or email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk quoting Operation Madeira or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.