Highlands & Islands

'Leopard Man of Skye' Tom Leppard dies in Inverness

Tom Leppard was in the Guinness Book of Records as Most tattooed senior citizen (male) Image copyright Guinness World Records
Image caption Tom Leppard was in the Guinness Book of Records as Most tattooed senior citizen (male)

A man who was known as the Leopard Man of Skye because of his full-body leopard-spot tattoos has died in a nursing home in Inverness.

London-born former special forces soldier Tom Leppard lived in a remote bothy on Skye for 20 years until 2008.

His self-made shelter, on a stretch of shoreline near Kyleakin in the south-east of the island, had no electricity or furniture.

Mr Leppard would canoe three miles (4.8km) for his weekly shopping.

'Saffron yellow'

Since 2002, he had held the Guinness World Record for most tattooed male senior citizen.

His entry in the records said 99.9% of his body was covered in tattoos of "a leopard-skin design, with all the skin between the dark spots tattooed saffron yellow".

Image caption Tom Leppard spent 20 years living in a remote bothy

Mr Leppard, whose was in his 80s and real surname was Woodbridge, moved into a one-bedroom house in Broadford on Skye eight years ago, at the age of 73.

He told BBC Scotland at the time that he was "getting too old for that kind of life".

But he also said he had enjoyed his life at the bothy, saying: "I've loved every minute and when you're covered in leopard tattoos you certainly get noticed - I became a bit of a tourist attraction on Skye."

Mr Leppard served 28 years in the armed forces.

After leaving the military, he reportedly spent more than £5,000 on tattoos, choosing leopard spots because of his interest in big cats.

The bothy he built on Skye was constructed using stones and had a roof of plastic sheets.

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