Read my post again...
Thats why i said "or have a damn good reason!"
If someone is ill (and i mean properly ill, a sniffle is not going to keep me out of court trying to defend myself). Then im quite sure that the court would be far more understanding.
But lets face it, youve been threatened with going to prison for commiting what the police believe is a crime. Anything short of being at deaths door would not stop a normal person from turning up to court to try and defend themselves. And if your at deaths door, you should be at the hospital, and i guarantee that being in hospital is a good enough excuse for not turning up at court, and so he would not have gone to prison then.
Additionally, there's nothing in the story that says he committed suicide. It says he OD'd. The majority of OD cases are not delibrate attempts at suicide, its usually someone getting a bad batch of their favourite drug or getting a batch which is significantly stronger then they were expecting.
Everyone has a choice. He had the choice to turn up to court, and prove that what he was doing was not a crime, and then he would have walked out a free man. As it was he chose, for whatever reason (and we can all only speculate on that), not to turn up. He was sentenced for that.
And attempts to link the OD to his time in prison are disingenuous at best...