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Tattooed 'Leopard Man of Skye' dies in care home, aged 80

Tom Leppard, born Tom Wooldridge, was once considered the world's most tattooed man.

By STV News

Published 14 Jun 2016.

The "Leopard Man of Skye" has died in a care home at the age of 80.

Tom Leppard, born Tom Wooldridge, spent £5500 on his art and was once considered the world's most tattooed man.

He lived in a small bothy on Skye for more than two decades and would take a kayak to the mainland for supplies once a week.

The former soldier swapped his hut on the banks of Loch na Beiste for a house in 2008 and later moved into a home in Inverness, where he died on Sunday.

Mr Leppard said he had "no regrets" about his tattoos, which began as a way to make money.

Speaking in 2001, he said: "I thought if I get the biggest of something and live in a strange way people might pay me.

"I knew as soon as the needle went in for the first time that it would have to be completed. The bonier areas were sore - the rib, the spine, the skull - but I'm stubborn."

Despite his spots, he said he felt "no affinity with leopards" and called spiritual questions about his tattoos "rubbish".

He added: "In the UK people have been brainwashed into thinking that a tattooed person is just a criminal and that's it. [My tattooes] haven't changed me but they've changed the view people have of me."