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Fact of the week: Scotland’s ‘Leopard Man’

Tom Leppard, Scotland's 'Leopard Man of Skye'. Picture: Submitted

Tom Leppard, Scotland's 'Leopard Man of Skye'. Picture: Submitted

SCOTLAND’S ‘Leopard Man’ is a former soldier who was previously awarded a Guinness Book of World Records accolade for being the world’s most tattooed man.

Tom Leppard - real name Tom Woodbridge - is close to 80, and is believed to have spent over £5,000 on body modifications, with his skin almost entirely covered in a leopard-like pattern.

From 1987 until 2008, he lived in a bothy, or small hut, on the Isle of Skye, in the Inner Hebrides, using a kayak to reach the mainland where he bought supplies and picked up his pension on a weekly basis.

Although he now lives in a larger house on the island, he spent nearly two decades living in his remote bothy, without electricity; an earthen floor, and metal sheet roofing completing his small abode.

His bed was made from polystyrene board, his cooking done on a small stove.

He chose to leave his primitive dwellings by Loch na Bèiste when a friend offered him the chance to move to the village of Broadford.

At the time, he told The Guardian in an interview: “I have no interest in a TV, or a radio. Nor do I want a telephone.

“My life hasn’t changed much - I never bothered people when I lived in the bothy, and they didn’t bother me, and I’m not really that interested in what else is going on outside.”

Leppard was with the armed forces for just shy of 30 years, and decided in the late 1980s to live alone in the Scottish Highlands. Perhaps surprisingly, he didn’t acquire any tattoos during his military service, but chose to get them as a way of making money, but he admitted in the same interview that he didn’t enjoy the publicity.

Although he lost the Guinness World Record to street performer Lucky Diamond Rich in 2006, Leppard said he had no regrets about the path his life had taken, adding that he was content with life.

 

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