Former Sunseeker employee James Light was yesterday sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court after stealing £55,000 worth of parts from the Poole builder

For 35-year-old James Light, just helping to build Sunseekers wasn’t enough. He wanted to own one.

So over a seven-year period, the electrical engineer in the builder’s Poole factory helped himself to parts including a 4ft radio mast, widescreen television and electrical components, in the hope that one day he’d have enough parts for his very own Manhattan 85.

But yesterday, Bournemouth Crown Court heard how Light was finally caught trying to smuggle a DVD player out of the factory in his toolbox.

He had managed to accumulate parts worth £55,000, which were carefully stored in more than 100 boxes in a lockup garage in Bournemouth.

Light claimed he had obtained the parts legitimately from a third party, but in the end admitted charges of theft and handling stolen goods.

Detective Inspector Jez Noyce said: “I have no idea how someone managed to sneak all these items past security at Sunseeker, especially a 4ft radar pole and large television.

“When Light was questioned about the items he told us that he had purchased them from an unknown male so he could build his own boat. He said he was either going to build a boat or buy one and then modify and do it up with the parts.”

Light, who has now been sacked by Sunseeker, had worked at the company for 11 years, and was eventually caught in September 2005.

A Sunseeker spokesman said: “Sunseeker helped identify the parts through serial numbers and it was established that they were stolen. It appears that Mr Light was going to use the parts to build his own boat.

“We haven’t got a clue as to how these parts came to leave the factory. There are very stringent security measures in place, there are security cameras and a strong security presence to make sure everything stays where it should.”

Light admitted 17 counts of handling stolen goods and two counts of theft. He also admitted cultivating cannabis and possessing Ecstasy tablets, cocaine and cannabis.

He was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 200 hours community service.