Kaikōura man Trevor Baillie sentenced for brutal red-billed gulls killing

Hotel guests in Kaikōura discovered more than nine dead red-billed gulls last June.
Hotel guests in Kaikōura discovered more than nine dead red-billed gulls last June. Photo credit: File

Warning: This article contains details that may disturb some people.

A Kaikōura man has been sentenced to community detention and been slapped with a curfew for killing nine red-billed gulls.

Trevor Baillie, 65, earlier admitted a charge of hunting or killing protected wildlife.

The gulls died from crush injuries after he drove over them on Kaikōura wharf in June last year.

Baillie was sentenced to three months' community detention and a 9pm to 6am curfew in the Blenheim District Court on Wednesday.

The Department of Conservation (DoC) says the conviction is welcomed. DoC south Marlborough operations manager Phil Bradfield said it's a reminder that harming the native species is taken very seriously.

"Red-billed gulls are commonly seen in coastal areas but their numbers nationally are declining at an alarming rate," he explained.

"Kaikōura historically is a stronghold for red-billed gulls."

The species' largest South Island breeding colony is on Kaikōura's coastal cliffs, Bradfield said.

At the time it was thought the birds were shot with an air rifle or similar firearm, before being either run over with a vehicle or stamped to death by foot.

The offence of hunting or killing protected wildlife holds a penalty of up to two years imprisonment or a fine of up to $100,000 - or both.

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