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Woman faces court charged with child abduction as Darwin girl Grace Hughes, 5, and mother remain missing

Juliet Oldroyd faced the Darwin Local Court.  (ABC News: Andie Smith)

A woman charged with child abduction in relation to the disappearance of five-year-old Grace Hughes has faced court, as police continue to search for the Darwin girl.

Juliet Oldroyd, 50, was on Saturday charged with one count of abducting a child under 16 and one count of attempting to abduct a child under 16.

She was interviewed at a property in Anula last week, with police saying she was later arrested for allegedly refusing to provide information about Grace and her mother's whereabouts.

Police allege Grace was taken without permission by her mother Laura Hinks, also known as Laura Bolt, during a supervised parental visit in Berrimah on the afternoon of August 7.

During her first court appearance today, Ms Oldroyd told Judge Thomasin Opie she would not be seeking legal aid, but had no current representation other than her husband, Craig Oldroyd.

Laura Hinks and her daughter Grace Hughes remain missing.  (Supplied: NT Police)

Mr Oldroyd told the court he did not have any legal qualifications, but later told media outside court that he had contacted an "international human rights lawyer".

The accused was supported in court by a group of people who stood and applauded after she was escorted back to the cells when the case was adjourned.

Judge Opie had to instruct members of the public in the courtroom to sit down and "show courtesy to allow the court to proceed uninterrupted".

Ms Oldroyd's matter will return to court on August 22.

Juliet Oldroyd's husband Craig Oldroyd said he will act on behalf of his wife in court.  (ABC News: Melissa Mackay)

Search for Grace continues

Detective Superintendent Kirsten Engels this afternoon made a fresh appeal for anyone who knew the whereabouts of Grace and her mother to come forward.  

She said police believed there were people in the community who knew where the pair were. She urged them to "do the right thing" and contact police. 

"She's a five-year-old child, [and] this has to be a very traumatic experience for her," she said.

"She's essentially being hidden from the world, removed from her siblings and her family and her normal home life and her school.

"It's time for her to be returned."

Police are appealing for public information to find Grace.  (Supplied: NT Police)

Superintendent Engels said police were using "every resource" and following all leads to find Grace, who has now been missing for more than a week.

Police are also looking into the possibility that Grace and her mother may have travelled interstate.

Grace was not and has never been in the care of the Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities, a spokeswoman for the department confirmed.

Superintendent Engels said Grace's father was "cooperating fully" with police.

Anyone with information on the pair's whereabouts is being urged to contact police. 

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