updated 9/17/2007 11:08:20 PM ET 2007-09-18T03:08:20

A judge convicted a longshoreman Monday of killing 189 seagulls that were roosting at a marine terminal and fined him the minimum $14,175 — or $75 per bird.

Daniel Gallagher, the president of an International Longshoremen’s Union local, was also ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution for a company-owned pickup truck that was totaled when he plowed through the birds and crashed.

Gallagher had previously testified that he was talking on a walkie-talkie and trying to grab a spilling coffee cup when the gulls flew up in front of his windshield in February 2006.

“I don’t know if I hit the brakes or not,” he said. “I just panicked.”

Assistant District Attorney Bill James said Gallagher “went out of his way” to drive through the flock at Packer Marine Terminal. He also showed a videotape of a 200-foot path of dead birds.

Prosecutors had requested Gallagher, of South Philadelphia, be fined the maximum of $47,800. Municipal Court Judge Deborah Shelton Griffin rejected that figure, saying she believed the bird massacre was the result of an accident.

Gallagher’s lawyer, S. Philip Steinberg, said he would appeal and seek a trial in Common Pleas Court.

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