UPDATED - Patently untrue. There are always two roads with police - the easy road with admissions and co-operation, and the hard road. There is an easier way still to avoid the humiliation of arrest, it has to do with refraining from offending.

Tomorrow the Craig Thomson charges will be mentioned in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court

Ice cream Craig wants an ice cream


Chris McArdle (Thomson's lawyer) is a bit of a dial-a-quote.  Pressing media commitments kept him in Sydney while Mr Thomson was in court in Wyong - but Mr McArdle seemed to have an amazingly good grasp of the charges, or '"informations"  in police parlance, alleged against Criag Thomson.

This quote is from the ABC's PM program on the day of the arrest.

CHRIS MCARDLE: He was told about one charge of an alleged offence in 2002. I mean, what were you doing in August, 2002? And he has to remember that one.

Some of these 149 charges are for $12 and $15. He's actually being criminally charged with having bought an ice cream. True. Bought an ice cream is one of the charges.

Mr McArdle got a lot of mileage in trying to make the Victoria Police look foolish and petty.  The ABC fell into line, promoting the idea, here's an example of the ABC breakfast host Michael Rowland's tweeting.

On Google there are about 3,000 references McArdle's ice cream quote.   "He's being criminally charged with having bought an ice cream.   True.   Bought an ice cream is one of the charges."

Well tomorrow 149 informations will be handed up to the Melbourne Magistrates' Court.   If the Victoria Police Major Fraud and Extortion Squad has concerned itself with preferring a charge of "buying an ice cream" against Mr Thomson, I will owe you an apology Mr McArdle and you will get it.

But I'll tell you what mate, if there is no such charge and you've been mouthing off to falsely impugn the reputatoins of some of the world's best investigators you'd want to have the mother of all apologies ready to fire.