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

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

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 charged yesterday 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 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.”

A man with a beard and wearing a tie holds a bundle of papers and speaks into two microphones.
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

A young girl of age five smiles into the camera.
Police are appealing for public information to find Grace. (Supplied: NT Police)

Police said in a statement yesterday they were using “all resources necessary” to find Grace, who has now been missing for more than a week.

They also said Grace and her mother may have traveled interstate.

Anyone with information on the pair’s whereabouts are being urged to contact police.

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