Colourful and controversial businessman Johannes Hellinga, known as the Flying Dutchman, has died aged 76.
During the 1970s he began buying land in the Highlands and will be remembered for giving his tenants the chance to buy their land for 5p an acre.
He will also be remembered for buying Lochbay House in Skye from pop star Donovan, flying a 16-year-old to Gretna to marry her, and his frequent brushes with the law.
By the 1990s, Mr Hellinga’s business empire had collapsed and by the time he appeared in court on animal cruelty charges in 2000, he claimed to be worth just £2,500.
After a trial in Tain in 1980 for threatening to shoot a police officer and assaulting an animal cruelty inspector, he emerged from the court and began handing out £10 notes to onlookers.
He had admitted the charges and was admonished because the sheriff considered the 103 days he had spent in custody was sufficient punishment.
Johannes Hellinga arrived in Scotland from the Netherlands in 1978 and began buying land in Easter Ross while staying in a house near Invergordon.
He bought Kindeace estate, near Tain, for a reported £610,000 and turned a profit by selling tracts of land including nearly 4,000 acres to the Forestry Commission.
His next major purchase was Waternish Estate on Skye. Crofters feared the worst but he quickly gave them to chance to become landowners with the offer to buy the land they farmed for 5p an acre.
In his death notice, which appeared in The Press and Journal, it was this act of altruism that featured prominently.
It read: “Will be remembered with great fondness for his outstanding benevolence to his tenants of Waternish Estate, as their landlord, for allowing them to purchase their croft land outright at a price of 5 pence per acre.”
He paid around £130,000 for Waternish and claimed to have sold it in portions to Dutch investors for £480,000.
Johannes Hellinga led a high profile life. He was sociable and apparently relished being at the centre of business deals of which there were many.
Some of these deals were not above board and in 1983 he was jailed in the Netherlands for passing forged US currency.
He was known for his love of cars but also of whisky and this combination led to many high-profile court hearings at Perth.
In 1984, Mr Hellinga received planning permission from Highland Regional Council for a £12 million holiday village in Easter Ross, including 400 houses but the development did not proceed.
He also tried to build a hotel empire based on hotels in the north-east and east coast and an associated travel firm to market Scotland as a holiday destination.
Mr Hellinga moved to Elliot House, Arbroath, in the 1990s and began dealing in cattle.
However, animal inspectors found evidence of horrific neglect of around 100 calves and he was found guilty after trial.
Johannes Hellinga fled before he could be sentenced but later did return to court where he was jailed for a month for the offence.
In recent years he lived in Inverallochy near Fraserburgh.
His burial will take place in Ardmore Cemetery, Trumpan, Skye, on Friday, January 7, 2022, at 1pm.