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Impact of Reeva Steenkamp's death emerges

Scenes of hysteria were described as the news of Reeva's death rippled through her family.

Barry and June Steenkamp, parents of Reeva Steenkamp, listen as judgment is handed down in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius at the High Court in Pretoria on 11 September 2014. Picture: Pool.

PRETORIA - Scenes of hysteria have been described as the news of Reeva Steenkamp's death rippled through her family on Valentine's Day last year.

The model's cousin Kim Martin broke down on the witness stand in the High Court in Pretoria today as she testified about the effect Reeva's death has had on her family.

Paralympian and Olympian Oscar Pistorius was found guilty last month of culpable homicide related to the death of Steenkamp.

Martin is the state's first witness called to testify in aggravation of sentence.

Steenkamp's cousin was greeted by scenes of chaos as she arrived at Barry and June Steenkamp's Port Elizabeth home, just hours after Pistorius killed their daughter.

Video: 'Prison will break Pistorius'.

"My aunt was hysterical and she had to be heavily medicated and my uncle sat in the corner crying."

She says the couple were devastated that their only child was gone.

"They absolutely adored her and they were so proud of her and what she accomplished."

Martin says stress and anxiety has taken its toll on the pair, with Barry's health in decline.

EMOTIONAL DAY IN COURT

The courtroom was thick with emotion as the model's cousin testified.

Martin began her testimony, standing, steady but she broke down, overwrought by sobs as she described the moment she heard about the shooting.

Her voice cracked as she recalled sitting in traffic and a radio DJ announcing that the athlete had shot his girlfriend.

The court was forced to adjourn as Martin was comforted by an African National Congress Woman's League member.

Pistorius was also overcome, his body shuddering, as he listened to the devastating effect Steenkamp's death had on her family.

June remained stoically composed but Barry appeared more moved and distressed at the testimony.

At the end of the day's evidence Martin shared a long embrace with her uncle before he hobbled out the room, looking haggard and broken.

Click here for more on Oscar Pistorius.

Follow the court proceedings live on EWN's Oscar Pistorius trial blog.

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