Richard Claude Belt
Person Male Born 26/6/1851 Died 17/11/1920
Sculptor. Born Westminster. At Mapping Sculpture we learnt that Belt was twice caught up in significant court cases, one of which had the Byron statue at its centre. Belt's former employer, Charles Lawes (sculptor and athlete, 1843-1911) claimed in print that the winning design for the statue was Lawes's and not Belt's. Belt sued and the high profile trial ran for 6 months in 1882. Witnesses included prominent portrait sitters and members of the Royal Academy. Belt won the case but Lawes filed for bankruptcy to avoid payment.
Then in 1886 Belt and his brother Walter were accused of obtaining money by false pretences (by the fraudulent sale of jewellery) from Sir William Neville Abdy. Walter was found not guilty but Richard got 12 months hard labour.