THE mother of a student who was killed after escaping from a mental health unit has told how she feels betrayed by the hospital that was supposed to protect her.

University of Brighton student Janet Muller’s body was found in the boot of a burning car after she escaped from Millview Hospital in Hove.

Today her mother Ramona is expected to receive a financial settlement and apology from Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust, which is responsible for mental health services in Sussex.

Speaking publicly for the first time since her daughter’s death, Ramona, 47, who lives in Berlin, relived a mother’s worst nightmare.

She said: “They let us down from the start. I hope I can make some changes for the people in Sussex.

“For us it is too late.

“This will not change anything for us “We all trusted them. You do trust hospitals.

“Families, relatives, friends, they trust those people. You think if they are under the Mental Health Act they will be safe in there.”

Ramona did not wish to disclose the exact amount of the pay-out, saying no amount of money will ever replace her lost daughter.

She added that the trust’s apology was also too little, too late.

Despite being sectioned under the Mental Health Act, Janet was able to escape from Mill View Hospital twice the day before she was killed, by walking out the front doors and climbing over a garden wall.

Her family have now waited more than three years for an apology.

Ramona said: “It was never about the money.

“It is about trying to get some changes.

“Sometimes an apology is worth nothing. They should have done something before to avoid that. They had so many chances. First of all it’s way too late for us. They knew women climbed over the wall – even after Janet’s death someone else went over the wall.

“I can’t ever draw a line under this.

“It is way too late. What happened happened. Janet will not come back. But it is at least a bit of justice for J that they accept their failures but it will not change anything in their lives.

“A lot of people have suffered a lot.”

Janet’s twin sister Selina, now 24, has been unable to complete her studies in Britain.

In the past year Janet’s mother suffered a nervous breakdown and has been unable to work.

“Life is not like before,” Ramona said.

“We will never get over this. You run and you fight but there comes a time when it it is all too much.

“We suffer with nightmares and sleepless nights, still hoping Janet comes through the door.

“It’s very difficult to accept what has really happened. “ The trust was condemned during an inquest into Janet’s death last year for its failings.

Despite being detained under the Mental Health Act Janet was able to escape from the secure unit twice in the 24 hour hours before her death.

Her body was found on March 13, 2015, near Ifield Golf Club, Horsham.

Hospital staff failed to keep accurate records or make proper risk assessments and she was able to access skunk cannabis inside the hospital.

Ramona said the hospital had denied her a final opportunity to speak to her daughter and she was unable to speak to her on the phone or visit during her final days.

“When I found out Janet had been taken to Mill View I spoke to the doctors and nurses,” she said.

“They always told me she was fine and I didn’t have to worry.

“I told them I wanted to come over and they told me I should wait.

“I wanted to bring her home to Germany.

“I feel like they stole that last opportunity from me.”

The heartbroken mother said she fears Janet felt let down by her mother – hoping she would visit only for her to never turn up.

She said: “I wasn’t allowed to talk to her on the phone.

“She was waiting for her mother and I didn’t come.”

Sussex Partnership has said it will publish its apology at 9.30am today.

Ramona said: “I would have liked to have had the apology in person – but it has taken so long.

“Nothing they say can ever be enough.”

‘I had thought my laughing girl would be safe’

WHEN Ramona Müller thinks of her daughter Janet the 21-year-old is always laughing.

“Janet was a very happy girl, a very caring person,” the heartbroken mother told The Argus.

“She always took care of us, her sister, me, even strangers.

“It was always important for her that people were treated well.

“Whenever I remember her she is laughing.”

Janet and her twin sister Selina went to the same school in Berlin where their mother worked.

But in September 2012 the girls came to the UK to study – Janet starting an international business management degree at the university of Brighton in Eastbourne.

Selina began studying in Kent, where Janet met her girlfriend Helen Sutton.

Letting her grown daughters fly the nest is a decision Ramona will always regret.

“We had been very close to each other, we were with each other 24 hours a day, but you let them go,” she said.

“They were over 18. I let them go to the UK. I thought they would be safe. Janet was 21 and had almost finished university. Almost three months before her graduation.

“She was very happy studying and she wanted to achieve a lot.

“She had so many plans. She wanted to move over to Selina’s to do a masters. It was all taken away from her and actually we don’t know why.” But Janet will never fulfill the dreams her mother had for her.

While at university Janet began smoking skunk cannabis heavily and started to suffer strange behaviour and psychotic episodes.

She was found naked at Eastbourne railway station in March 2015 and taken to Mill View Hospital in Hove and sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

Janet escaped twice on March 12, 2015.

She walked out of the front door and was later found acting aggressively in a farmer’s field and returned to hospital, but nurses decided not to increase the number of times staff checked on her.

Only one qualified nurse was on duty when Janet escaped from Caburn ward for the second time that day – by climbing over the garden wall.

After leaving the hospital Janet somehow encountered Christopher Jeffrey-Shaw.

Police said Jeffrey-Shaw, 26, of Beckenham, London, was a complete stranger to Janet and it is not know how she met him.

He accused two other men of killing Janet –but they have never been traced.

He said he was ordered to set fire to the car by a man named Steven to who he owed a drug debt.

He was found guilty by a jury of setting fire to a car while Janet was in the boot – but he claimed to have believed Janet was already dead.

Jeffrey-Shaw was jailed for 17 years for manslaughter by a jury who believed his account.

But police have never been able to trace any evidence of the other man.

However the unresolved nature of the case leaves Janet’s family unable to end their nightmare.

Ramona said: “Everything happened so fast.

“I still don’t know really what happened. We just know she is dead.

We don’t really know what happened. I will continue to fight for answers.”

An inquest last June focused on the care Janet received at the hands of Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust which is responsible for mental health services cross Sussex.

The inquest jury concluded she was failed by the trust.

West Sussex senior coroner Penelope Schofield said: “The jury clearly identified failings in the way the trust cared for Janet.

“But I have a duty to record my concerns to prevent further deaths.

“The jury identified failings in respect of record keeping and assessing risk.”

Sussex Partnership is due to publish its apology at 9.30am today.